#5 - Marc Chagall ~ The Fiddler ~ 1912

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1 #5 - Marc Chagall ~ The Fiddler ~ 1912

2 #5 - Biographical Sketch of Marc Chagall Marc Chagall ( ) was a French -Russian and among the celebrated painters of the 20th century, who is also often associated with the Surrealist movement. Surrealism is a style in which fantastic visual imagery from the subconscious mind is used, it was deeply influenced by the psychoanalytic work of Freud and Jung. Chagall was born in Vitebsk, Belarus (then in the Russian Empire), the oldest of nine children in the close-knit Jewish family. This period of his life, described as happy though impoverished, appears in references throughout Chagall's work. Beginning to study painting in 1906 Chagall moved to St. Petersburg only a few months later in There he joined the school of the Society of Art Supporters and encountered artists of every school and style. This period was difficult for Chagall Jewish residents at the time could only live in St. Petersburg with a permit, and he was jailed for a brief time. Chagall remained in St. Petersburg until 1910, and regularly visited his home village. Chagall became an active participant in the Russian Revolution of The Soviet Ministry of Culture made him a Commissar of Art for the Vitebsk region, where he founded an art school. He did not fare well politically under the Soviet system. He and his wife, Bella, moved to Moscow in 1920 and back to Paris in He became a French citizen in With the German occupation of France during World War II, and the deportation of Jews and the Holocaust, the Chagalls fled Paris. He hid at Villa Air-Bel in Marseille and American journalist, Varian Fry assisted his escape from France through Spain and Portugal. In 1941, the Chagalls settled in the United States of America.On September 2, 1944, his beloved Bella, the constant subject of his paintings and companion of his life, died from an illness. Two years later in 1946 he returned to Europe. His works abound with references to his childhood, yet often neglect some of the turmoil which he experienced. He communicates to those who view his works happiness and optimism by means of highly vivid colors. Chagall often posed himself, sometimes together with his wife, as an observer of the world a colored world like that seen through a stained-glass window. Chagall often used symbols in his work, such as a fiddler. In Chagall's village, Vitebsk, the fiddler of the village made music at the crosspoints of people's lives, such as a birth, a wedding, or a death. Fiddler on the Roof, in its time the longest-running show on Broadway, is based on stories by Sholem Aleichem and named after the painting by Marc Chagall. Today, a Chagall painting can sell for more than $6 million.

3 #5 - Additional Works by Marc Chagall Self-Portrait Oil on cardboard. 30 x 26.5 cm. The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA,

4 The Holy Coachman (Le saint voiturier) Oil on canvas 148 x cm. Private collection

5 The Juggler (Le jongleur) Oil on canvas x 78.7 cm. Private collection

6 The Birthday Kiss

7 Artist and His Model Oil on canvas. 65 x 50. Private collection

8 #5 - Questions about Marc Chagall 1) What is the meaning of Surrealism? a) a type of acrylic paint used by realists b) a style in which fantastic visual imagery from the subconscious mind is used c) the nickname given to Freud while he studied in college d) a style of art using only points or dots of color 2) Why do you think the Soviet Ministry of Culture made Chagall a Commissar of Art for the Vitebsk region? a) Chagall was the son of the head of the Ministry b) Chagall's sculptures were icons of Soviet loyalty c) Chagall fought against the Russian Revolution d) Chagall became an active participant in the Russian Revolution 3) Which statement best describes how Chagall communicates happiness and optimism by means of highly vivid colors? a) Chagall often posed himself as an observer of a colored world like that seen through a stained-glass window. b) Chagall often painted with dark sad colors c) Chagall sculpted happy faces for school children d) Chagall focused in the dramatic contrasts between black and white 4) Based on the fact that Jewish residents, in 1907, could only live in the city of St. Petersburg in Russia with a permit, and Chagall was jailed for a brief time, which of these conclusions is accurate? a) Russian government did not like Chagall's paintings b) Chagall did not have the correct permit to be Jewish and be in the city of St. Petersburg in Russia c) Chagall was a burglar of fine jewels d) Chagall started political riots in Germany, which brought about WWII 5) Which of the following is a reason for Chagall fleeing Paris? a) Fear of the Atlantic slave trade b) Chagall could not speak French c) German occupation of France during World War II, and the deportation of Jews during the Holocaust d) Chagall preferred to spend his summers basking in the sunny Mediterranean

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