What is the contributions of Marc Chagall?

Bella Rosenfeld

It is worth mentioning her stay in the Costa Brava, specifically in the town of Tosa de Mar, where she spent a couple of summers, in 1933 and 1934. The work entitled The Celestial Violinist is currently preserved in the Municipal Museum of Tosa de Mar.

Chagall’s work is connected with different currents of modern art. He was part of the Parisian avant-garde that preceded the First World War. However, his work always stays within the limits of these emerging movements and trends, including Cubism and Fauvism. He was closely connected to the School of Paris and its exponents, such as Amedeo Modigliani.

The magician

Marc Chagall developed a personal pictorial style, difficult to classify. His painting is expressive and colorful, closely linked to his life experiences and to the religious and popular traditions of the Russian Jewish community, but also impregnated with mythology and Christian mysticism. He felt a deep distrust for pictorial theories, which is why he did not allow himself to be pigeonholed in any avant-garde of the early twentieth century. In his works, and depending on each stage, there are elements of Cubism, Fauvism, Orphism, Expressionism or Surrealism.

A tireless worker, he was always open to new experiences and knowledge, so his artistic production was rich and abundant in all kinds of techniques such as oil painting, gouache, engraving, sculpture, ceramics, stained glass or book illustration.

Chagall maintained a relationship of mutual recognition with many poets and writers, with whom he often felt more at ease than with his fellow painters.  Breton, Malraux, Cendrars, Apollinaire,… were his friends and they saw in him a “poet painter”.

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Marc Chagall Fauvism

He soon achieved fame and recognition with his painting, leaving St. Petersburg to go to Paris in 1910, in order to join the group of Russian artists residing in Montparnasse, remaining in the French capital until 1914.

As for the style and technique of Chagall’s painting, we can say that the singular use of color and form, assumes in part the influence of Russian expressionism on the one hand but above all the decisive influence of French cubism. An example of his early style is the painting “Candles in the Dark”, 1908, of which he made subtle variations.

Most of his work is distributed between Paris, Chicago, New York, Switzerland, Germany, but above all in numerous private collections, today his works can be sold for more than six million dollars.

In his hometown, Vitebsk, a museum bearing his name was inaugurated in 1997, which only contains copies of his paintings, since during the Soviet period, he was declared “non grato” by the government and they do not have any of his original works.

Marc chagall woman with hat

Both groups came with a mixture of skepticism and rather uncertain expectations. They thought he was a rather naive painter, with hardly any contribution to the complex art world of the century in which he lived and developed his vocation.

With Chagall he had a strong handicap. Being a long-lived artist, I had to face the study of his figure over a long chronological period.    But as soon as I began, I was captivated by the artist’s personality.

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A Jew born in Belarus, he lived through the development of the two World Wars, the subsequent interwar periods, the Russian Revolution, and the emergence of the contemporary world with its incipient globalization.

He maintained a great coherence in technique and use of color, which he endowed with vibrant rotundity, and in which the light reverberated radiantly, making it the vehicle that transported moods of vitality and joy. His imaginary remained full of nostalgic references to his native Vitebsk, always present in his retina, iconography and pictorial work.

What is the contributions of Marc Chagall?
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