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Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall (7 July 188728 March 1985) was a Russian-Belarusian-French painter of Jewish origin who was born in Belarus, at that time part of the Russian Empire. He is associated with the modern movements after impressionism.

Chagall took inspiration from Belarusian folk-life, and portrayed many Biblical themes that reflected his Jewish heritage. In the 1960s and 1970s, Chagall engaged in a series of large-scale projects involving public spaces and important civic and religious buildings.

Chagall’s artworks are difficult to categorize. Working in the pre-World War I Paris art world, he was involved with avant-garde currents, however, his work was consistently on the fringes of popular art movements and emerging trends, including Cubism and Fauvism, among others. He was closely associated with the Paris School and its exponents, including Amedeo Modigliani.

Abounding with references to his childhood, Chagall’s work has also been criticized for slighting some of the turmoil which he experienced. He communicates happiness and optimism to those who view his work strictly in terms of his use of highly vivid colors. Chagall often posed himself, sometimes together with his wife, as an observer of a colored world like that seen through a stained-glass window. Some see The White Crucifixion, which is rich with intriguing detail, as a denunciation of the Stalin regime, the Nazi Holocaust, and the oppression of Jews in general.

For more information about his art, see the list of Chagall’s artwork.

Use of symbolism

  • Cow: life par excellence: milk, meat, leather, horn, power.
  • Tree: another life symbol.
  • Cock (rooster): fertility, often painted together with lovers.
  • Bosom (often naked): eroticism and fertility of life (Chagall loved and respected women).
  • Fiddler: in Chagall’s town Vitebsk the fiddler made music at crosspoints of life (birth, wedding, death).
  • Herring (often also painted as a flying fish): commemorates Chagall’s father working in a fish factory.
  • Pendulum Clock: time, and modest life (in the time of prosecution at the Loire River the pendulum seems being driven with force into the wooden box of the pendulum clock).
  • Candlestick: two candles symbolize the Shabbat or the Menorah (candlestick with seven candles) or the Hanukkah-candlestick, and therefore the life of pious Jews (Chassidim).
  • Windows: Chagall’s Love of Freedom, and Paris through the window.
  • Houses of Vitebsk (often in paintings of his time in Paris): feelings for his homeland.
  • Scenes of the Circus: Harmony of Man and Animal, which induces Creativity in Man.
  • Crucifixion of Jesus: an unusual subject for a Jewish painter, and likely a response to the rise of anti-Semitism in Germany in the late 1930s.
  • Horses: Freedom.
  • The Eiffel Tower: Up in the sky, freedom.

Source:wikipedia

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July 7, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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