Marc Chagall

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Marc Chagall Marc Chagall as an artist and as a person cannot be categorized. He was born in Vitebsk, Russia, learned to paint in St. Petersburg and lived in Paris, Berlin, and the United States. His career is influenced by many different factors. His Hasidic Jewish upbringing reflected in the content of his paintings greatly. The lyrical fairy tales of Jewish mysticism, the stories of the Bible, and the Rabbis and scholars who surrounded him in his childhood come out onto his work. When he went to art school in St. Petersburg it was the period when he became exposed to the avant-garde movement in art. With Leon Bakst he saw the reproductions of Fauve canvases, the sketches of Van Gogh and of Cezzanne his ambition to go to Paris was born. At the time that he moves to Paris for the first time (1910- 1914) Fauvism and Cubism were the prevailing modern art movements. It can be seen in Chagall’s composition the application of these movements principles of arbitrary colour and reorganization of the visual field, but he incorporates these principles with a dream like scape to create his own personal style. The term Surrealism applies to Chagall, that is the term that was coined when Appolinaire when visiting his studio in 1913 murmured “Supernatural!”. This is not to say that Chagall was part of any Surrealist movement on the contrary he is against any style or movement. It used as a term where the artist has drawn upon consciously or unconsciously from the dream experience. It is clear in his works that he does not want any movement to restrict his expression and mobility. He is wholly against empathetic realism, of the Courbet, Impressionist or Cubist sort, yet he still uses Cubist devices and comes close to Impressionism. Chagall depicts a more dreamlike, story like content filled with symbolism (much of it traditional) in his paintings. He admired Manet, and drew great inspiration from Gauguin in his early years. He creates a style that was more universalistic and one that did not have any idealistic underpinnings. Chagall’s painting The Fiddler (1912) is the largest and richest work in the series of figure pictures in which Chagall was bringing to life the typical characters he remembered from his childhood. In this composition the use of arbitrary colour is clearly seen, for example the fiddler's green face, the blue roof top etc. He does not ... ... middle of paper ... ...his pictures as illogical and non-realist. The images were not of this earth therefore different from things or geometrical figures. Also the way he uses colour is like no one else. In the conversations Chagall makes many references to poetry, but that is not surprising for to him his art is poetry. His concern was never with a movement but with the purpose of bringing to people the love and gaiety of his paintings. Chagall is known to use much more than a canvas as a showcase for his work. He is world famous for stained glass and mosaics from Jerusalem to the United Nations. For him a stained glass “is a transparent partition between my heart and the heart of the world.” In his paintings we see his childhood and homeland and for Marc Chagall his paintings are his memory. Chagall left a lasting impression on the art world. He evoked things in his paintings that were close to him and put them together in a poetic sense. He offered a dreamlike scene and influenced the Neo- Surrealists . Chagall being part of the first two phases of Surrealism (1911-1914) (1914-1918) laid a fundamental base for artist like Salvador Dali who would also rely heavily on their dreams and their images.

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