CHAGALL… Entre Guerre et Paix…

Chagall exhibition at the Musée du Luxembourg...CHAGALL

EntreGuerre

EtPaix“…

Between… War and Peace…

An… exhibition…

At… the…

Musée du Luxembourg

Organised by the… Réunion des Musées Nationaux – Grand Palais…

Marc Zaharovich Chagall

A Russian artist… one of the most successful artists of the 20th century…

“J’ai choisi la peinture : elle m’était aussi indispensable que la nourriture : elle me paraissait comme une fenêtre à travers laquelle je m’envolerais vers un autre monde.”

I chose painting; it is for me as indispensable as eating, to me it was a window from which I fly to other worlds…

A… modernist…

He created works in every artistic medium… paintings, illustrated books, stained glass, ceramic tapestry, fine art prints…

Marc Chagall and his wife Bella Rosenfeld...Chagall was referred to by Art critic Robert Hughes… as the “Quintessential Jewish artist of the 20th century”… 

He produced in the medium of stained glass… windows for the cathedrals of Reims and Metz… the UN… the Jerusalem windows… and was formally commissioned in 1963 by André Malraux… France’s minister of culture… to paint the new ceiling of the magnificently majestic 19th century national monument… the Opéra Garnier of Paris.  It took the then 77 year old artist a year to complete.  The images Chagall painted on canvas were a tribute to the composers Mozart… Wagner… Mussorgsky… Berlioz… and Ravel… among others.  Chagall explained the meaning of his finished work in these words…

“Up there in my painting, I wanted to reflect, like a mirror in a bouquet, the dreams and creations of the singers and musicians, to recall the movement of the colourfully attired audience below, and to honour the great opera and ballet composers… Now I offer this work as a gift of gratitude to France and her École de Paris, without which there would be no colour and no freedom.”

Chagall…was a pioneer in modernism and a major Jewish artist.  He experienced the “golden age” of modernism in Paris, where “he synthesized the art forms of Cubism, Symbolism and Fauvism and the influence of Fauvism gave rise to Surrealism”.  Yet he “remained most emphatically a Jewish artist, whose work was one long dreamy reverie of life in his native Vitebsk”…

Staying in St. Petersberg until 1910, while visiting his beloved Vitebsk… he met the love of his life… Bella Rosenfeld…  In his book “My life“… Chagall described his feelings beautifully…

“Her silence is mine… her eyes mine… It’s as if she knows everything about my childhood… my present… my future… as if she can see through me.”

"Autour d'elle" by Marc Chagall, 1945...He was devastated when his wife Bella died in 1944…

During 1941 he, his wife, and his daughter Ida moved to New-York leaving France.  He was aware of the barbaric devastation going on in Europe… “War… persecution… refugees… burning villages… haunted his paintings and a sombre tonality invaded his work”…

A Jew… Chagall used the theme of “the Crucifixion”… as a universal symbol of human suffering, manifesting a unique… generosity of spirit.

Amazingly… his “oeuvres” during this period were particularly abundant…

War and Peace… figured hugely in Chagall‘s work.  He explored certain decisive moments in his life which demonstrated the link between his “vision of the human condition and his sincere sensitive pictorial technique which thirty years after his death is still strikingly innovative”.

In 1949… he moved back to France from the US.  His love of Paris was so great… his expression of the “city of light”… was described in the following words…

Chagall was exhilarated… intoxicated as he strolled through the streets, the banks of the Seine. Everything about the French capital excited him. The shops… the smell of fresh bread in the morning… the markets with their fresh fruit and vegetables… the wide boulevards… the cafés and restaurants and above all the Eiffel Tower. Another completely new world which opened up for him was the kaleidoscope of colours and forms in the works of French artists…”

WeAt the Musée du Luxembourg... mirror… his thoughts…

Share… his intoxication…

Of… Paris…

We were… deeply moved…

By this… sensitive artist…

Marc Chagall…

Who… allowed us…

To enter… into a world of…

Love… emotions…

Dreams…

His… eternal Love…

His… dreams…

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