Thursday, January 12, 2017

The art of the Kotel Hamaaravi, or Western Wall

By Saul Jay Singer
Aan original print of Marc Chagall’s “The Wailing Wall,” which he has signed on the verso (not shown) “Marc Chagall Paris 1931-33 Le Mur des Pleurs.” The original painting hangs in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
The Kotel Hamaaravi, or Western Wall, has been fundamental to Jewish consciousness since the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D. It is not surprising, therefore, that it became a popular theme for artists, particularly in the 19th century, when many in the West, including notables such as U.S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Herman Melville, and Mark Twain, traveled to see the Holy Land. Where other artists had found inspiration in the unusual landscapes and people of the North African region, Chagall, as a Jew, had an entirely different perspective: he was not searching for mere external stimuli but rather for an inner spirituality from the land of his ancestors. [link]