Marc Chagall Exhibition Opens in Shanghai: 'Conveying Love to the World'

Marc Chagall, a Russian-French Jewish artist
Marc Chagall, a Russian-French Jewish artist
By Li ShiguangAugust 19th, 2021

"Love is Color - Marc Chagall Exhibition" opened in Shanghai displaying the Russian-French artist's creative career spanning almost 60 years.

On July 31, the exhibition opened at Shanghai Jiushi Art Museum and will last until October 8.

This exhibition is by far the largest tour exhibition of Chagall's works in China. It features six themes - "Hometown and Childhood, the Inspiration of Jumping", "Love! Eternal Love", "Fables of La Fontaine ", "Paris, Another Hometown of Dreams ", and "Life, Blooming in Spring". A total of 154 original works of Chagall are in the exhibition, including 27 paintings created by different techniques and materials, such as oil painting, watercolor painting, gouache painting and Tampere painting, and 127 etched (stone) prints in three series, namely The Bible, La Fontaine's Fable and Paris.

Marc Chagall, a Russian-French Jewish artist, is not widely known in China, and not many people have heard his name in Chinese churches. But in fact, as an important figure in the history of modern art, his works are loved by people in different periods because of their rich and pleasing colors, unconstrained imagination, and unique painting style. He was thought by many to be "the only artist who truly understands colors other than Matisse". Born in the cold Belarusian city of Vitebsk, Chagall died in the warm south of France. He lived through many wars and drifted from place to place during which his beloved wife died.

Chagall was also a Christian. Although his life had been weather-beaten, he always conveyed the message of love to the world in his own way, eulogized the beauty of life, and finally became the "only Chagall" which occupied an important position in the history of modern painting.

Chagall had a great influence on the artistic creation of colored windows in churches, especially appreciated and commemorated by Catholics.

In February 2020, "Holy Love" magazine published by Guangqi Process of Catholic Diocese in Shanghai issued an introduction and comment on Chagall's art of colorful windows. It read, "Marc Chagall (1887-1985), a Russian-French Jewish artist, was one of the most successful artists with comprehensive artistic creation and professional development in the 20th century. Under the background of the convergence of various art schools in the 20th century, Chagall, as the leader of modernist art, developed his unique personal style which took inspiration from his Jewish tradition. He is widely quoted in creative media, including oil on canvas, etching prints, books and illustrations, ceramics, tapestries, architectural decoration, or stage art. Among them, Chagall's creation with colored window glass as the medium is extremely impressive. These works coexist in the sacred church building space and secular public buildings at the same time, and through the ancient handicraft art of color window glass, the historic church district presents a new look in the new century."

Among the colorful window arts of Chagall, the most classic one is the colorful window on the north side of the Anglican Chichester Cathedral, which was designed and produced by Chagall at the age of 90. It was also his last work, and his creative inspiration came from Psalms 150: "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord".

- Translated by Charlie Li

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