"For me, the bible is pure poetry, human tragedy… it fills me with visions about the faith of the world and it is inspires me… I see life and art through the wisdom of the bible"… - Marc Chagall
born as Moishe Segal in Vitebsk, White Russia (now in Belarus). studied art in st. Petersburg, and in 1910 he settled in the artists quarter in Paris, where he met Modigliani and Fernand Leger.
Marc Chagall belongs to the glorious group of rebels and dreamers whose work in the early decade of the 20th century remarked the beginning of a new era in the arts.
Chagall spent most of his life in France. However, he remained a distinctively Russian artist phenomenon. In a century of "total" influences, Chagall imitated no one and no one, incidentally, attempted to follow him. His artistic conceptions were enigmatic, the means he used to get to the heart of things was highly original, and his dialectical approach unpredictable.
Chagall genius sprang from the fertile soil of his homeland of Vitesbkek in Czrists white Russia., was nurtured in the glow of the "Paris light", soared against the background of the world events of his lifetime, and enriched by a deeply spiritual awareness, matured into a magnificent expression of his dreams, fantasy and poetry in imagers that cause even the most earthbound observer to be transported into the dizzying realm of color and form.
Chagall was truly a singular artist who remained true to himself and his creativity and whose work defied the limitations of classification. His motivation was simply the expression of his unbridled imaginings, and the result is an oeuvre that is comprised of invented symbols of feelings and emotions, coming from the heart in sophisticated and captivating playfulness.
Chagall's formative years in the town of Vitesbek in White Russia were shaped by combination of Russian folk art and icons, a sophisticated naïveté, and the enthusiasm and verve for the rest of his life.
The biblical stories profoundly nourished Chagall, who has furnished us with a plastic version that is only related to his visionary art. He interprets, makes them his, while respecting the spirit, the law of the scripture. Having forgotten the pictorial tradition that was connected with them, rejected conventional iconography and the irritating anecdotal aspect, he imparts to them youth and freshness, charm and a new force and does so in such a way that contemporary man, touched in his heart and soul.
for further reading:
- Benjamin Harshav, Marc Chagall and His Times: a Documentary Narrative, 2004,
Stanford University Press, California >>link to the digital book
- Susan Tumarkin Goofman, Marc Chagall: Early Works from Russian Collections,
exhibition catalouge, 2001, Jewish Museum, New York >>link to the digital book
- Ingo F. Walther and Rainer Metzger, Marc Chagall, 1887-1985: Painting as Poetry,
2000, Taschen, Clifornia >>link to the digital book
- Jacob Baal- Teshuva (ed.), Chagall- A Retrospective, 1995, Museum of Modern Art,
Original works by Marc Chagall can be found in the Engel Galleries Israeli art collection.