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Marc Chagall


The Colour of Dreams

The double-faced man, a goat-headed lover, flying lovers, merry musicians and the luscious flower bouquets all come from the imaginative mind of the French-Russian artist Marc Chagall. His images are based on emotional and poetic associations, rather than on rules of pictorial logic. Known as the “artist of love and dreams”, his illusory subject-matters are presented in rich colours and in a fluent, painterly style that — while reflecting an awareness of artistic movements such as Expressionism, Cubism and even Abstraction — remain invariably personal.
Chagall’s unique style, his masterful understanding of colour and the deep emotional resonance emanating from his work make him one of the most admired artists throughout the world and his name lives on as a master in Art History.

“I immerse myself in my reflections, I fly above the world”
Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall, Le Songe, 1978
oil on canvas 65 x 53,9 cm (25.6 x 21.2 in)
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Marc Chagall, L'Arrivée de la Reine de Saba, 1971-1972
oil on canvas, 111,1 x 83,8 cm (43.7 x 33 in)
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Chagall’s originality lies in his very personal synthesis of the influences he seized from all sides. He was born in Vitebsk, Belarus, on July 7, 1887, of a family of devout Hasidic Jews. As well as Russian folk art and Byzantine and Russian icon painting, Chagall’s faith greatly inspired his art and themes of Jewish symbolism were frequently featured in his works. He left Russia in 1910 for four years and then again in 1923 when he settled in Paris. However, Russia and his religious beliefs stayed with him.

“Colour is all.
When colour is right, form is right.
Colour is everything, colour is vibration like music, everything is vibration.”
Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall, Souvenir de Paris, 1976
oil on canvas, 72,9 x 54,1 cm (28.7 x 21.3 in)
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Installation view, Marc Chagall: The Colour of Dreams, Opera Gallery © Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall, Two Faced Couple, 1980
oil on canvas, 91,8 x 64,5 cm (36.1 x 25.4 in)
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“Love and fantasy go hand in hand.”
“Only love interests me and I am only in contact with things that revolve around love.”
Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall, Les Mille et Une Nuits, 1946
mixed media on paper, 61,4 x 46 cm (24.2 x 18.1 in)
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Marc Chagall, The Newlyweds under the Canopy, 1978-1980
oil on canvas 59,7 x 81 cm (23.5 x 31.9 in)
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It was in Paris that Chagall discovered and embraced an all-encompassing sense of colour. He observed it everywhere, from the streets and the sky to artists’ studios and the Louvre. That is where he really found himself artistically and he explained that in Paris he was reborn. That is also where he met Pablo Picasso who stated: “I don’t know where he gets those images from, he must have an angel in his head”.

“I chose painting because it was just as indispensable to me as all the food. It seemed to me like a window through which I flew into another world.”
Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall, Mimosas et Iris, circa 1964-1969
mixed media on paper 63,8 x 60 cm (25.1 x 23.6 in)
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Installation view, Marc Chagall: The Colour of Dreams, Opera Gallery © Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall, La Nuit, 1974
oil on canvas, 55,5 x 46,1 cm (21.9 x 18.1 in)
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Marc Chagall, Violinist in the Snowy Village, 1977
mixed media on paper, 63,9 x 47 cm (25.2 x 18.5 in)
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Chagall’s life and art together added up to his image of a lonesome visionary, a citizen of the world with much of the child still in him, a stranger lost in wonder — an image which the artist would cultivate. He loved life. He loved the circus, he loved the Bible and found the same human paradox in both: joy mixed with tragedy, beauty with sadness. The poetic and biblical inspirations of Chagall’s art have always appealed to a broad public, and his works are collected, exhibited and admired all over the world.
Marc Chagall, Les Trois Acrobates, 1959
oil on canvas 100 x 66 cm (39.4 x 26 in)
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Marc Chagall, The Newlyweds with Rooster, circa 1975
mixed media on canvas on panel, 32,1 x 64 cm (12.6 x 25.2 in)
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