Come and discover the works painted by Marc Chagall during his stay in the valley.
It was at the age of 40 that the painter, already known throughout Europe, set down his family suitcases in our town, for a discreet and uneventful stay. On the village square, the Dédoux house met his expectations in every way. It was, at the time, a family pension, which today has become the Montagnard Museum. From one of its windows, Marc Chagall discovers the nearby Saint John the Baptist Church. For Chagall it is a revelation: that of Savoyard baroque art. This love at first sight inspired him six works that he would produce between 1927 and 1930, including three illustrating this church which fascinated him.
The first, a gouache on paper entitled "The Church Covered in Snow", shows the facade of the religious building in its entirety. The work is in the Detroit Institute of Art in the United States. The second, a watercolor bearing the name of "the painter angel or Church portal under the snow", takes up the detail of the lower part of the same facade. From the half-open door escapes an angel holding a paintbrush in one hand and a palette of colors in the other. It was Chagall himself who represented himself, drawing this attitude from his biblical inspiration, explicit in all his work as a Jewish artist. The work is on display at the Musée national Chagall in Nice. The artist then ventures a little further into the discovery of the village and creates the only oil painting in Les Houches. It still represents the church under the snow and the surrounding farms, from the bottom of the hamlet, an area that is now totally urbanized and therefore unrecognizable. This unique painting is called "The Church (painted in Savoy)". Chagall crosses the village of Les Houches in the direction of Chamonix and stops by the side of the road in front of the chapel of La Griaz, of which he paints a gouache on paper and which he will name "Church of Savoy". Continuing on his way to Chamonix, his gaze is drawn to a new chapel under the snow, that of Montquarts, in Bossons, at the foot of the glacier of the same name. He affixes his signature to the bottom of a gouache on paper representing her, and bearing the name "Winter Savoy". Finally, from the top of the Dédoux house, his gaze turns downstream and he paints, behind a closed window, the landscape he has in front of him: the SNCF station of Les Houches, the Sainte Marie viaduct, the entrance to the Chavants tunnel (not yet built at the time) and the gorges. This gouache / watercolor on paper bears the name "In the Alps (Savoie)".
Born July 7, 1887 in Liozna, near Vitebsk, Belarus, and died in Saint Paul de Vence on March 28, 1985, where he is buried, Marc Chagall is considered one of the two greatest painters of the twentieth century with Pablo Picasso. We owe him more than a thousand works: paintings, sculptures, stained glass windows, bas-reliefs, ceramics, mosaics, engravings, works on paper ... and even tapestries
74310 Les Houches