Marc Chagall’s work seems more vibrant, more colorful and more hopeful than ever. In spite of being born into poverty in the small village of Liozna, near Vitebsk, part of the Russian Empire, where, as a Jew, his movements were restricted and his options limited, Chagall managed to maintain an optimism that still resonates with people throughout the world.
When Chagall’s tapestries were hung in the Israeli Knesset in 1969, Israeli photographer, David Rubinger, focused on the artist, rather than the art, and captured the spirit of the man.
“Marc Chagall’s tapestries were hung in the Knesset with all due fanfare,” Rubinger said. “The notables of Israel were waiting with bated breath for yet another masterpiece by the artist laureate of the east European Jewish ghetto to be revealed. I knew I could always come back and get a shot of the art. But not of the main figure. I turned around and refocused on Golda Meir sitting next to Chagall, just as the drapes dropped and The Gobelins were uncovered.”What do you say to that, Golda?” Chagall said as he nudged her gently. “Do you like it?””
Chagall designed twelve original floor mosaics, one wall mosaic and the tryptic tapestry for the Knesset.
Always Back to His Roots
He witnessed famine, war and had to flee from France to the United States in 1941, to escape Nazi prosecution.
While in the US he published a letter called To My City Vitebsk, which read, “Why? Why did I leave you many years ago? … You thought, the boy seeks something, seeks such a special subtlety, that color descending like stars from the sky and landing, bright and transparent, like snow on our roofs. Where did he get it? How would it come to a boy like him? I don’t know why he couldn’t find it with us, in the city—in his homeland. Maybe the boy is “crazy”, but “crazy” for the sake of art. …You thought: “I can see, I am etched in the boy’s heart, but he is still ‘flying,’ he is still striving to take off, he has ‘wind’ in his head.” … I did not live with you, but I didn’t have one single painting that didn’t breathe with your spirit and reflection.”
Chagall’s Self-Portrait with Seven Digits, in the collection of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, reflects the artist’s life in two worlds…a view of Paris outside the left window and Vitebsk to his right.
Marc Chagall Original Works at Surovek Gallery
Please contact us for more information about Le Abret Verte (The Green Tree) or the other original works by Marc Chagall available in our gallery.