Marc Chagall Essay

1399 Words6 Pages
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…show more content…
Chagall in order to continue painting used a patterned tablecloth instead of a canvas. He did not disguise this surface but retained elements of it in his composition. You can see the pattern over the fiddler’s shoulder and on his leg. He has the fiddler floating in mid-air with the town below him above and beside him. The different buildings in the town are arranged in geometric shapes and lines. The most important thing as in all Chagall compositions is the symbolism. The fiddler symbolizes severa!l things at once, a memory from Chagall’s childhood, from his homeland and on a personal level himself. His childhood memory was that of his uncle Neuch who didn’t play the violin very well but who was enthusiastic when he played it. Its wider Russian significance is that of the failed revolution of 1905. The leader of this revolution was a Jewish fiddler named Edouard Sormus, who led workers through the streets to fight for their rights. Chagall saw himself in the fiddler, a solitary individual, isolated by the strangeness and mystery of art. The whole build-up of the painting reinforces the poetical dimension of the picture. This painting was important to Chagall. He used the symbol of the fiddler in other composition, for example The Violinist (1911), and The Green Violinist (1923-24). Another major work of his, the painting I and the Village (1911-1914) suggests the complexities of opposition and unity, the confrontation
Open Document