Tag Archives: Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall: Points of Interest

Marc Chagall

Happy birthday to Marc Chagall! The artist, born July 7, 1887, is credited as being a pioneer of modern art with a style that borrowed from fauvism, expressionism and cubism, but cannot be pigeonholed into one category.

His dreamy works, whether of village life or Jewish rituals, continue to be the subject of study. He worked in everything from painting and drawing to mosaic, sculpture and lithography, his innovations in the latter setting new standards for fine art graphic works. In honor of the great artist’s birthday, we offer some facts you might find surprising about Chagall.

 Chagall measured his work against nature

Chagall is said to have judged the quality of his art by comparing it to “God-made” objects. He would hold up objects like a rock, tree branch or flower to his painting. In his words: “If the painting stands up beside a thing man cannot make, the painting is authentic. If there’s a clash between the two, it’s bad art.”


Picasso’s praise, Chagall’s jokes



An article from the Smithsonian tells us that Chagall and Pablo Picasso were friends and rivals. Picasso praised Chagall, saying: “I don’t know where he gets those images. . .He must have an angel in his head.” Meanwhile, Chagall is said to have made the joke: “What a genius, that Picasso…It’s a pity he doesn’t paint.”

The same article tells us that Chagall was often elusive, telling people “no” or “I don’t know” if they asked if he was the famous painter Marc Chagall.

Chagall narrowly escaped Nazi-occupied France

Chagall and his family didn’t initially flee France under Nazi Germany occupation, unaware that laws were being passed mandating the forced transfer of Jewish citizens to concentration camps. When they finally decided to escape, they were unable to afford passage to New York. Thankfully, the Chagalls were among the 2,000 artists and intellectuals who fled to the U.S. with the help of American journalist Varian Fry, who risked his life to run a smuggling operation.

His “La Bible” series took 25 years to complete

Marc Chagall

Chagall was commissioned by Ambroise Vollard to create illustrations based on the Bible in 1931. He decided to use the mediums of etching and engraving, creating 65 etchings from 1931 to 1939. However, Vollard’s death and the war spreading across Europe halted the project. In 1952, he resumed the project, creating 40 additional plates to complete the series in 1956. This is considered to be one of his most ambitious and important undertakings.

Chagall didn’t learn lithography until the age of 63

Marc Chagall

Chagall is credited with creating some of the most masterful works of color lithography from any artist, but he didn’t experiment with the medium until 1950 at the age of 63, two years after returning to France. Although a famous and talented artist, Chagall worked hard to master the printmaking medium, resulting in such works as his “Daphnis and Chloe” series.

Chagall was dedicated to the lithographic process and the layered use of color, causing his printmaker, Charles Sorlier, to remark: “It is in this way, to the surprise of certain publishers, that a plate begun in six colors can comprise twenty-five in its definitive version.”

Chagall’s lithography teacher became a lifelong friend

Chagall studied lithography under Sorlier, who entered Fernand Mourlot’s workshop in 1948. Sorlier worked with artists such as Henri Matisse, Picasso and Fernand Leger, but his relationship with Chagall was the most significant. They became great friends, so much so that Sorlier was one of the last people to visit Chagall before his death in 1985.

His painting of the Paris Opera ceiling was controversial


At the age of 77, Chagall was commissioned to paint the ceiling of the Paris Opera. His critics argued that a modern artist, let alone a Russian Jewish artist, shouldn’t be the one to paint a French national monument. Despite this, he completed the work in a year, using a 2,400-square-foot canvas and 440 pounds of paint.

‘Marc Chagall’ at the Nassau County Museum of Art

“If we had nothing of Chagall but his Bible,
he would be for us a great modern artist.”
—Meyer Schapiro, Art Historian, Columbia University

“The Bible is life, an echo of nature,
and this
is the secret I have endeavored to transmit.”
—Marc Chagall

"Projet de couverture non-utilisee; Bible" (1956), Marc Chagall, Park West Gallery

NEW YORK — Now through November 4, the Nassau County Museum of Art (NCMA) presents “Marc Chagall,” a major exhibition featuring significant paintings and a large selection from Chagall’s series of 105 hand-colored etchings of “Bible” stories (1957).

According to the museum:

The works selected demonstrate how Chagall, throughout a long and distinguished career, incorporated facets of his early Russian-Jewish heritage into multilayered works. Chagall’s storytelling paintings portray a fantastic pictorial world where heaven and earth seem to meet, and couples are always in love. It’s a world where people and animals—cows, goats, donkeys, horses and birds—float upside down or sideways, irrespective of the laws of gravity. Chagall’s hypersensitive imagination is palpable as he shares with the viewer his memories of family in brilliantly colored works set amidst the houses and streets of his native Vitebsk.

Over our 43 year history, Park West Gallery has assembled one of the most extensive collections of Marc Chagall artwork in existence. We are proud to have contributed various works from our collection to the NCMA for this exhibit.

“Marc Chagall” | July 21 – November 4, 2012
Nassau County Museum of Art

To learn more about the Park West Gallery Marc Chagall Collection, please visit www.parkwest-chagall.com.

Art News – June 17, 2011

marc-chagall-townhouseThe former home of Marc Chagall is located at 57 East 73rd Street in New York City, NY. Photo: Stribling & Associates Real Estate

A Master’s Suite: For only $1.75 million, you could inhabit the former home of painter Marc Chagall. The artist’s former townhouse in New York City has recently been listed for sale. (Park West Gallery has just a few ideas on how the new owner should redecorate.) {via Curbed}

21st Century Art History: A new survey shows that the majority of doctoral candidates in the art history field are choosing to concentrate their studies on Modern art, mostly from North America and Europe. The College Art Association says that last year’s most-studied area for potential Ph.D.’s in the U.S. and Canada was art created during the last 100 years. {via LA Times}

 Surrealist Masterpiece: Prior to collaborating with Walt Disney on the animated film Destino, artist Salvador Dali worked with Spanish director Luis Buñuel on the surreal short film Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog). This week’s New York Times Critics’ Pick reviews the 1928 film, stating that even now, 80 years later, the movie “still seethes with creative, revolting imagery.” {via New York Times}

Everyone’s a Critic: A study of 9-month-olds found that babies prefer the brighter paintings of Pablo Picasso with their “sharp and accentuated contrasts in luminance” to the more subtle “blurry, shimmery effects” of Claude Monet works. Which do you like better? {via Miller-McCune}

Can You Draw the Internet?: This creative bunch of folks believes they did. These Park West Gallery bloggers wouldn’t even know where to begin. {via TechCrunch}

***Have an interesting art news story or upcoming arts event to share with our Park West Gallery Blog readers? Submit your art-related news links via email to marketing@parkwestgallery.com.

The Year in Review: Top 10 Art Stories of 2010

Steve Bloom, Park West Gallery“Champagne” by Steve Bloom | Park West Gallery Collection

The New Year is just days away, but before we say goodbye to 2010 and raise our glasses to ring in 2011, the Park West Gallery bloggers decided to take a look back at some of our most popular art stories from the last twelve months.

Today, the Park West Gallery Blog boasts a whopping 700+ postings — a good portion of which were published during the last year. Using some trusty analytics, we’ve compiled a list of the most-viewed art stories posted on “The Official Blog of Park West Gallery” in 2010.

And now, for your reading pleasure…

The Park West Gallery Blog’s TOP 10 ART STORIES OF 2010:

1) Freud’s Influence on Dali’s Surreal “Dream” Painting
(Posted Feb. 9, 2010 / Read it now → )

2) Honoring MLK Day: Norman Rockwell and the Civil Rights Movement (Posted Jan. 18, 2010 / Read it now → )

3) Yaacov Agam and the Mystical Number “9”
(Posted Feb. 11, 2010 / Read it now → )

4) Pop Artist Peter Max Paints Taylor Swift
(Posted March 31, 2010 /Read it now → )

5) Art Gallery Finds Rare Chagall Painting at Auction 
(Posted Jan. 8, 2010 / Read it now → )

6) Focusing on Matisse as a Printmaker at the Tampa Museum of Art (Posted Feb. 15, 2010 / Read it now → )

7) Dalí + Disney = Destino (Posted Nov. 12, 2010 / Read it now → )

8) Wildlife Master Andrew Bone Paints a “Life-Size” African Elephant (Posted July 20, 2010 / Read it now → )

9) A New Approach to Joan Miró
(Posted Jan. 26, 2010 / Read it now → )

10) Art Auctioneer Series: Married Life at Sea 
(Posted Nov. 22, 2010 / Read it now → )

Park West Gallery would like to thank all of our loyal readers and we look forward to bringing you the most exciting art, artist and gallery news in 2011!

What was your favorite art-related story of 2010? Share it with us in the comments section below!
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Marc Chagall’s America Windows Open to the Public

Marc Chagall, America Windows, Art Institute of ChicagoMarc Chagall. America Windows, 1977. A gift of Marc Chagall, City of Chicago, and the Auxiliary Board, commemorating the American bicentennial in memory of Mayor Richard J.Daley. © 2010 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.

Have you ever seen the classic 80s movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? (“Anyone? Anyone?”) If so, try to recall that famous montage, showing Ferris, Sloan and Cameron spending part of their afternoon at the art museum. You might recognize the magnificent stained glass windows (pictured above) from that popular scene in the film. Over the last five years, visitors of the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) may have been disappointed to learn that Marc Chagall’s America Windows were removed from display — until today.

On November 1, following an intensive period of conservation treatment and archival research, Marc Chagall′s stunning stained glass windows returned on public display. In the following video, go behind the scenes at the AIC and learn about the history, conservation and reinstallation of Marc Chagall’s America Windows.

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Marc Chagall was one of the 20th Century’s greatest Masters, creating unique works in virtually every artistic medium–paintings, book illustrations, stained glass, stage sets, ceramics, tapestries and fine art prints.

In our more than 40 year history, Park West Gallery has built one of the most extensive collections of Chagall works in existence. The collection includes examples of Chagall’s most important works, including The Bible, The Story of the Exodus, Fables of Fontaine, L’Odyssée, and Daphnis & Chloe, among others. The Chagall lithographs in the Park West Gallery collection reflect the artist’s innovation and expertise in the art of lithography and feature many of his most popular themes, including Biblical themes and Circus themes.

The Park West Gallery Chagall collection ranks among the world’s largest and finest in quality. If you are a collector, enthusiast or interested in learning more about the artist, please visit the Park West Gallery Chagall website at www.parkwest-chagall.com.


Happy Birthday Marc Chagall!

“In our life there is a single color, as on an artist’s palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love.”
– Marc Chagall (July 7, 1887 – March 28, 1985)

Park West Gallery Marc Chagall Website

Marc Chagall, one of the greatest and least understood master artists of the 20th century, was born Moyshe Segal in Vitebsk, Russia on July 7, 1887. In honor of this modern master’s birthday, Park West Gallery is proud to announce the launch of its new Marc Chagall website.

The website features the Park West Chagall Collection of artwork and includes examples of Chagall’s most important graphic works such as The Bible, The Story of the Exodus, Fables of Fontaine, L’Odyssee and Daphnis & Chloe. The Chagall lithographs featured represent the artist’s innovations and expertise in lithography, for which he is universally known. His most popular themes, including Biblical and Circus, are also featured on the site.

“Chagall was one of the most distinctive and unique artists in history,” says Park West Gallery Director, Morris Shapiro. “His aim was to compete with the beauty of nature and in this way he created his own artistic ‘nature.’ He’s also one of the least understood artists of the modern masters. I hope that our new site will allow people to go deeper into Chagall’s life and work and gain new perspectives to appreciate both.”

Visit Park West Gallery’s Marc Chagall website at www.parkwest-chagall.com

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Picasso and the Avant-Garde in Paris

Pablo Picasso, Park West Gallery fine art“Three Musicians” (1921) by Pablo Picasso, Philadelphia Museum of Art.
©2010 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

PHILADELPHIA — A new exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art focuses on Modern Masters including Picasso, Braque and Chagall–commonly known as the School of Paris. Through April 25, Picasso and the Avant-Garde in Paris will feature 214 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper.  

From the museum website:

“The exhibition follows the trajectory of Picasso’s career from his early experiments with abstraction to his pioneering role in the development of Cubism, as well as his dialogue with Surrealism and other important art movements in the ensuing decades. The exhibition will also explore the important role that the city of Paris played in the history of modern art during the first half of the twentieth century, when artists from around the world followed Picasso’s example and moved to the French capital. It will include works by expatriate artists like Marc Chagall, Jacques Lipchitz, Patrick Henry Bruce, and Man Ray, who collectively formed a vibrant, international avant-garde group known, for posterity, as the School of Paris.”

For more information on this exhibit, please visit www.philamuseum.org
Park West Gallery has become one of the longest running and largest dealers of Pablo Picasso graphic works internationally. Our current collection, both archived and actively offered, includes over one thousand five hundred works, including drawings and mixed media unique works, etchings, aquatints, linoleum cuts, lithographs, and ceramics, all rigorously authenticated, guaranteed and selected based on the highest quality and value.

Please visit picasso.parkwestgallery.com to learn more


Art Gallery Finds Rare Chagall Painting at Auction

Marc Chagall, art auction

LONDON — The Ben Uri Jewish Museum of Art knows firsthand that art auctions can offer not only superb finds but bargain prices as well. The small London art gallery paid roughly $43,000 – a fraction of its estimated $1.6 million value – for a rare Marc Chagall painting at a Paris auction last fall.

The exceptional painting, Apocalypse in Lilac, Capriccio (1945), is one of only 10 Chagall works of art created between 1938 and 1945 to feature a Jewish Christ. Gallery representatives recognized the work in the auction catalog “as a missing piece of Chagall’s wartime imagery,” telling the press recently, “this previously unknown work is Chagall’s deeply personal expression of horror and mourning for the Jewish civilization almost wiped out by the Nazis alongside and merged with grief for his late wife Bella, who died eight months earlier.”

The Ben Uri gallery was definitely in the right place at the right time, admitting that they may not have gotten such a bargain if the world’s big galleries knew about the painting’s existence (oh well, it seems Park West Gallery wasn’t the only one to miss out on this one).

Apocalypse will be unveiled at a public exhibition on Jan. 8 in London.



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