Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Marc Chagall, the Jewish religious artist

White Crucifixion (1938) oil on canvas by Marc Chagall. Courtesy Art Institute of Chicago
One hundred thirty years after the birth of Moishe Shagall, as he was known in his small Hasidic neighborhood on the outskirts of Vitebsk, and thirty-two years after the death of Marc Chagall, as he came to be known in the modern art world, we are starting to understand his vision. Somewhere in between his life dates, Chagall became the world’s preeminent Jewish artist at a time when the Russian Jewish intelligentsia fanatically directed itself towards universalism. It is interesting, then, that Chagall’s radical religious vision has been subsumed under his cultural one in debates over his national identity, whether Jewish, French, or American. [More]