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Marc Chagall 18871985 PostImpressionist


His family was Jewish at a time when much of Eastern Europe was anti-Semitic. ... His palette grew brighter as he aged, but the same whimsy remained. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Marc Chagall 18871985 PostImpressionist

Marc Chagall1887-1985Post-Impressionist
ChildhoodI and the Village
  • The eldest of 9 children, his father was a poor
    herring worker. His mother raised the children.
  • His family was close-knit, boisterous and happy.
  • He was born in Belarus, then a part of Russia.
    His family was Jewish at a time when much of
    Eastern Europe was anti-Semitic.
  • -----------------------------------
  • What shapes do you see?
  • Do you see a town? A tree? Two horses?

EducationThe Fiddler
  • He moved to St. Petersburg in 1907 to study
    painting. Jews needed a special permit to live
    in the city, and he was briefly arrested when he
    didnt have the proper documents.
  • He married Bella from his hometown. He was
    devoted to her until her death in 1944.
  • They briefly moved to Paris, but returned to
    Russia prior to the outbreak of WWI.
  • --------------------------------------
  • Some say this picture was the basis for the play
    Fiddler on the Roof.
  • Is the mood happy? Sad? Quiet?

Early InfluencesBlue House
  • Chagall and his wife supported the Russian
    Communist Revolution, which erupted in 1917.
    Initially pleased with the new regime, Chagall
    grew disenchanted and moved to France, where he
    was based for the rest of his long life.
  • He became well known to the surrealists and other
    artists of his day. Surrealists focused on a
    more subjective, thought provoking presentation
    in their art than traditional sources.

  • He was inspired by Russian folk-life and biblical
  • His palette grew brighter as he aged, but the
    same whimsy remained. He often talked of seeing
    his pictures in his dreams and tried to convey
    that same sense of magic and fantasy in most of
    his works.
  • Here, notice how the feet dont touch the floor.

Dark SideWhite Crucifixion
  • This unusually dark work is said to be a
    denunciation of the persecution of the Jews under
    both Stalin in Russia and Germany in WWII.
  • Political views are sometimes woven into his
    work, often through symbols. Here, the
    candelabra represents Judaism.
  • -----------------------------------
  • Is this a happy scene? What is the source of
    light? Do you think the figures are trying to
    leave the frame?

The Wedding
  • Although influenced by cubism and fauvism,
    Chagall struck his own path and is difficult to
    categorize. Cubism involved breaking forms down
    into their most basic shapes. Fauvism (foe-vism)
    refers to a movement involving Matisse where
    bright colors and impressionist techniques were
  • Though his works are sometimes called surreal,
    his sensibility is very different, perhaps
    because most of his works are tender and joyous.
    Many surrealists used the juxtaposition of
    objects to give a negative comment on life.

Mixed mediaStained Glass Window at the UN
  • Chagall worked in virtually every type of
    media--ceramics, stained glass, oil painting,
    pastels, and sculpture.
  • He said, I work in whatever medium likes me at
    the moment.
  • Does his work feel different when its done with
  • Do you like this work? Why?

  • This work is typical of Chagall. Note the color
    palette--both vivid color and delicate whites.
  • Do you see one face? Two faces? Three? Is it a
    man or a woman?
  • Are angels circling the head? Devils?
  • Do you think the person is happy? Generous?
  • Do you feel like you are looking at a a picture
    from someones dream?

  • Chagall used lots of symbolism in his work.
  • A tree long life
  • A clock passing time
  • A horse freedom
  • A rooster marriage
  • Instruments rituals
  • Eiffel Tower freedom
  • -------------------------------
  • Do you see the instruments? Roosters? Floating
  • Does it capture the joy of a wedding, if not the

Great art picks up where nature ends.
  • These works, Enchantment and Promenade typify
    the romantic and delicate feel of much of
    Chagalls masterpieces.
  • Chagall created compulsively, even writing poetry
    and penning his own memoir. He believed that
    the act of creating was an affirmation of life
    itself. He died at 97, with his life spanning
    the great tumult of the 20th century.