Chagall’s View of Paris
In 1969, Marc Chagall painted View of Paris, a haunting and dream-like Parisian scene that offers a unique glimpse of the city through the eyes of an artist. The Chagall View of Paris is remarkable, containing trademark motifs and displaying vivid colors – a perfect example of the artist’s abstract and fanciful art style. Russian-born, but revered as a French painter, Chagall painted numerous images of Paris during his lifetime, many of which co-mingled with his memories of Russia and Jewish heritage.
The Chagall View of Paris composition blends together elements of child-like fantasy, nostalgia and several signature motifs, including the woman floating in the sky, who typically appears in many forms of Chagall art. Despite the hardships in his life, this optimistic artist intended his work to be an ode to the vibrant colors of life and love.
Chagall’s deep love for Paris inspired many other paintings, including the “Paris Series” which was done between 1953 and 1956. While the Chagall View of Paris was painted years after the “Paris Series”, it contains many of the same themes, and confirms that the artist’s enduring fondness for the city had not changed over the years, even though the city had.
A Little Chagall History
Although Chagall escaped to the United States during World War II, he moved back to France in 1948 and traveled Europe before settling in the French Riviera. During the years that followed, he married a second wife, painted the Paris Opera ceiling, and produced many illustrations, paintings, and ceramics. He continued to weave his life memories and dreams of Paris into his paintings, giving them the surrealist touch.
Chagall works are often difficult to categorize, as he pulled his style and inspiration from Cubism, Fauvism, Surrealism, and Modernism. He worked very closely with the Paris School and its staff and students, including the well-known Amedeo Modigliani.
Chagall and the Critics
Chagall rose to fame, and his claim to success was not only due to his versatile art styles, but also because of his talent in various media such as paintings, glass, book illustrations, ceramics, and tapestries. He was highly regarded by many critics and even other artists of the time. Picasso, who worked with Chagall on many occasions, is said to have always had high praise for Chagall’s understanding of color and lighting.
Nevertheless, Chagall’s work was not without controversy and criticism. Some believed that the turmoil he endured in his life should have impacted his paintings and made his images more realistic and striking. Others thought that he was cutting himself off from his true Jewish ties and Russian upbringing. Regardless of his viewers’ opinions, Chagall chose to express optimism and a passion for life through his art, using bright and contrasting colors, and distinctive lighting.
The Chagall View of Paris is now within a private collection; however the world still has the opportunity to appreciate this painting. While the original may not be available for public viewing, many prints are available for purchase, framed and non-framed, and in the medium of choice.