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Temptation

Artist
Marc Chagall, French (born Belarus), 1887–1985
Date
1912
Material
Oil on canvas
Made in
Paris, Île-de-France, Western Europe, France, Europe
Classification
Paintings
Current Location
On View, Gallery 215
Dimensions
65 1/2 x 46 3/4 in. (166.4 x 118.7 cm)
framed: 77 1/4 x 59 1/8 x 3 5/8 in. (196.2 x 150.2 x 9.2 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Morton D. May
Rights
© 2020 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY / ADAGP, Paris
Object Number
74:1954
NOTES
In this biblical narrative, Eve grasps the forbidden apple, which she will hand to the golden figure of Adam on the left. Animal figures are dotted throughout the composition, including a bird perched on the antlers of a deer to the bottom right. Chagall treated this traditional subject in a highly modern, Cubist style, which he encountered after moving to Paris in 1910. Forms are broken down into faceted planes; the Cubist device of the split face allows Eve to look at both the apple and its destination.
Theodor Däubler (1867-1934) [1]

by 1917 -
Franz Kluxen (1888-1968), Münster, Germany; Boldixum, Germany [2]

- 1945
Kurt Feldhäusser (1905-1945), Berlin, Germany [3]

1945 - still in 1948
Marie Luise Feldhäusser (1876-1967), Berlin, Germany; Brooklyn, NY, USA, by inheritance [4]

- 1951
E. Weyhe Gallery, New York, NY, purchased from Marie Luise Feldhäusser [5]

1951/10/04 - 1954
Morton D. May (1914-1983), St. Louis, MO, purchased from E. Weyhe Gallery [6]

1954 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, given by Morton D. May [7]


Notes:
[1] According to a record sheet kept by Morton D. May, the painting transferred from Theodor Däubler to Franz Kluxen, and then to Kurt Feldhäusser [May Archives, Saint Louis Art Museum].

[2] See note [1]. This painting was exhibited at Herwarth Walden's Galerie Der Sturm in Berlin in 1914 and 1917; no lender is listed in the 1914 exhibition catalogue ["Marc Chagall." Berlin, Der Sturm, June 1914, cat. 14]. In August 1917, the painting was included in an exhibition of Franz Kluxen's personal art collection ["Sammlung Kluxen: Gemälde und Aquarelle Zeichnungen." Berlin: Der Sturm, August 1917, cat. 9]. Franz Kluxen was an art collector who lived in Boldixum on the North Frisian Island Föhr and in Münster, Westphalia. His art collection included works by Picasso, Jawlensky, Marc, and Macke. The painting was also included in a 1923 publication issued by Herwarth Walden's Galerie Der Sturm, but no collector information is given, so it is not clear if it was still in Kluxen's possession at this time ["Marc Chagall: Sturm-Bilderbücher I." Berlin: Der Sturm, 1923, p. 6].

[3] Kurt Feldhäusser died in a bombing raid in Nürnberg in January 1945. His mother, Marie Luise Feldhäusser, inherited his collection and subsequently sold much of it through E. Weyhe Gallery [letter from Wolfgang Schöddert, Ferdinand-Möller-Stiftung, dated November 20, 2002, SLAM document files].

According to Andrew Robison, Marie Luise Feldhäusser moved to Brooklyn, NY in May 1948 to join her other son Erwin and his family. She brought nearly all of Kurt's collection with her, hoping to keep it intact, but eventually offered it through E. Weyhe Gallery [Robison, Andrew. "Kirchner Collector Kurt Feldhäusser" in "Festschrift für Eberhard W. Kornfeld zum 80. Geburtstag." Bern: Galerie Kornfeld, 2003].

[4] See note [3]. In May 1949, Weyhe Gallery included this painting (titled "Sündenfall") in a list of paintings and sculpture available "from a European collection" [Robison, p. 252-53]. It is unclear whether these works were owned by Mrs. Feldhäusser or Weyhe Gallery at this time.

[5] See note [4].

[6] Bill of sale dated October 4, 1951 [May Archives, Saint Louis Art Museum]. May also bought other works at this time from the Feldhäusser collection.

[7] Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, May 13, 1954.
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