Monday, 27 April 2009

Marc Chagall - Paris Through the Window

“When Matisse dies, Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what color really is.” Pablo Picasso

Paris Through the Window, 1913

"After Marc Chagall moved to Paris from Russia in 1910, his paintings quickly came to reflect the latest avant-garde styles. In Paris Through the Window, Chagall’s debt to the Orphic Cubism of his colleague Robert Delaunay is clear in the semitransparent overlapping planes of vivid color in the sky above the city. The Eiffel Tower, which appears in the cityscape, was also a frequent subject in Delaunay’s work. For both artists it served as a metaphor for Paris and perhaps modernity itself. Chagall’s parachutist might also refer to contemporary experience, since the first successful jump occurred in 1912. Other motifs suggest the artist’s native Vitebsk. This painting is an enlarged version of a window view in a self-portrait painted one year earlier [below], in which the artist contrasted his birthplace with Paris. The Janus figure in Paris Through the Window has been read as the artist looking at once westward to his new home in France and eastward to Russia. Chagall, however, refused literal interpretations of his paintings, and it is perhaps best to think of them as lyrical evocations, similar to the allusive plastic poetry of the artist’s friends Blaise Cendrars (who named this canvas) and Guillaume Apollinaire." full article

"His "Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers" (1912-13) in the very first gallery is emblematic of this expatriate condition. (According to a Yiddish expression, to do something with seven fingers is to do it very well, and very fast). Two landscapes hover above the painter: the modernity of Paris meets the timelessness of Vitebsk, the Bellorussian village where the artist grew up, the eldest son of a Hassidic laborer. While Chagall spent most of his life in France, he never stopped returning to Vitebsk in his mind. His countless images of it were all the more vivid for his not being there." full article
The Tate has 7 of his works, including 'The Poet Reclining' above, if anyone wants to see it close up... check it.

Here's all his work or most of it, courtesy of Olga's gallery SEE IT HERE !! It's definitely worth a look.

1 comment:

  1. Some of my favorite works are his lithographs. Marc Chagall was an amazing artist on several different media. I've seen some lithographs so saturated with color, it's just amazing.

    Thanks for this post.