Marc Chagall original painting.
Dimensions: 50×70 cm
Painting Technique: Oil painting, oil on cardboard
Painting style: Surrealism, Modern art
Marc Chagall, (born July 7, 1887, Vitebsk, Belorussia, Russian Empire [now in Belarus]—died March 28, 1985, Saint-Paul, Alpes-Maritimes, France), Belorussian-born French painter, printmaker, and designer who composed his images based on emotional and poetic associations, rather than on rules of pictorial logic. Predating Surrealism, his early works, such as I and the Village (1911), were among the first expressions of psychic reality in modern art. His works in various media include sets for plays and ballets, etchings illustrating the Bible, and stained-glass windows.
The four years of his first stay in the French capital are often considered Chagall’s best phase. Representative works are Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers (1912), I and the Village (1911), Hommage à Apollinaire (1911–12), Calvary (1912), The Fiddler (1912), and Paris Through the Window (1913).
In these paintings Mark Chagall was already essentially the artist he would continue to be for the next 60 years.
His colours, although occasionally thin, were beginning to show the characteristic complexity and resonance he would eventually achieve. The often whimsical figurative elements, frequently upside down, are distributed on the canvas in an arbitrary fashion, producing an effect that sometimes resembles a film montage and suggests the inner space of a reverie. The general atmosphere of these works can imply a Yiddish joke, a Russian fairy tale, or a vaudeville turn. Often the principal character is the romantically handsome, curly-haired young painter himself. Memories of childhood and of Vitebsk were major sources of imagery for Chagall during this period.
Chagall’s repertory of images, including massive bouquets, melancholy clowns, flying lovers, fantastic animals, biblical prophets, and fiddlers on roofs, helped to make him one of the most popular major innovators of the 20th-century School of Paris. He presented dreamlike subject matter in rich colours and in a fluent, painterly style that—while reflecting an awareness of artistic movements such as Expressionism, Cubism, and even abstraction—remained invariably personal. Although critics sometimes complained of facile sentiments, uneven quality, and an excessive repetition of motifs in the artist’s large total output, there is agreement that at its best it reached a level of visual metaphor seldom attempted in modern art.