Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Marc Chagall's Jewish Lazarus

By Menachem Weker
Marc Chagall. Resurrection of Lazarus (1910).
Courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
PENNSYLVANIA - Marc Chagall (1887-1985) included two peculiar elements in his painting of the risen Lazarus. According to Michael Taylor, Muriel and Philip Berman curator of modern art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where Chagall’s Lazarus is on exhibit in Paris Through the Window: Marc Chagall and His Circle, Chagall’s decision to render Lazarus in a Jewish context was absolutely intentional. “Chagall reminds the viewer that the tale concerns a Jew,” writes Taylor, who recently accepted the position of director of Dartmouth’s Hood Museum of Art, in his catalog essay. “A key transitional work, Resurrection of Lazarus anticipates the haunting series of Jewish cemetery paintings that the artist would begin later that decade.” [link]