£250 Chagall Gift Card
This untitled gouache, made by the artist in his latest production phase, can be seen as a celebration of the symbolism of Chagall’s work and an emphasization of his emotional touch. In a dreamy, imaginative and surrealist landscape, the artist represents a fiddler and a floating cow immersed in an indistinct environment where it is possible to clearly distinguish only the leaves of a tree. Connecting to Jewish culture, which has deeply influenced Chagall’s practice throughout all his life, the fiddler, vital presence in religious ceremonies and festivals, represents the communion with God possible to achieve through music and dance, while the cow is the symbol of life par excellence, as also the leaves are. These essential themes of the artaist’s work have been celebrated in the most renowned Chagall’s paintings, as for example The Green Violinist, 1926 (Oil on canvas - now at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York) and Cow with a Parasol, 1946 (Oil on canvas - now at MET Museum, New York).
A Belorussian-born French painter, printmaker and designer, Marc Chagall created a singularly poetic figurative oeuvre full of rich colours and dreamlike imagery – flying lovers, massive bouquets, melancholy clowns, fantastic animals, lonely fiddlers and vibrant hearts – that made him one of the most popular Western artists of the 20th century.
Born on 7 July 1887, in Vitebsk, in the Russian Empire, Chagall grew up among a devout Jewish community. After learning the elements of drawing at a local school and studying painting in St. Petersburg, he moved to Paris in 1910, befriending such audacious young painters as Expressionist Chaim Soutine and Cubists Fernand Léger and André Lhote, while absorbing the rich hues of the Impressionist, post-Impressionist and Fauvist paintings popular at the time. Responding to these stimuli, Chagall produced works such as I and the Village, 1911, The Fiddler, 1912, and Paris Through the Window, 1913, essentially establishing the whimsical and emotional vocabulary that would characterize his art of the next 60 years.
If the development of his career and the vagaries of two World Wars forced Chagall to move repeatedly between France, Germany and Russia while also spending time in the US, in his private life he experienced two great loves: one, lasting more than 30 years, with Bella Rosenfeld, who appeared in myriad paintings from Birthday, 1915–23, to Around Her, 1945; the other, with Valentina Brodsky, who was featured in several of his later portraits. The artist died in Saint-Paul-de-Vence on the French Riviera, where he had settled with Brodsky.
Marc Chagall's poetic, figurative style made him one of most popular modern artists, while his long life and varied output made him one of the most internationally recognized. While many of his peers pursued ambitious experiments that led often to abstraction, Chagall's distinction lies in his steady faith in the power of figurative art, one that he maintained despite absorbing ideas from Fauvism and Cubism.