Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Promenade, 1917-18
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) French, b. Russia
oil on canvas
State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
Image: royalacademy-Fron Russia

A scan of my art shelves brought me across a new book of mine, a bible illustrated by Chagall. While today's art is not from that work it got me searching for a Chagall. Another artist whose work didn't interest me until recently, Chagall is beginning to grab my eye. His figures float through the canvas. Promenade caught my eye with its color and the figure of the woman who looks as if she may float out of the scene at any point. Take note of what the man holds down as his lady floats up. The man is Chagall and the woman, his wife Bella, who appears in many of his paintings.

Love is a significant theme in much Chagall's work, and is evident here. The painting makes me smile. Chagall is insanely popular (I had much trouble sifting through the oodles of links to sites selling reproductions) and to see his work, this popularity can be understood. The beauty, whimsy and passion for life in his work is a little hard to resit. I went to the Chagall Museum when I was in Nice some years ago and what has stayed with me is his stained glass, the infusion of light in these beautiful compositions is an experience.

This is only tangentially related but Chagall recently came up in my world through the book, The World to Come, by Dara Horn. Developed around a Chagall drawing and some his history but not about Chagall, it is a wonderful story and I highly recommend it.

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