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Chagall and the Flight of Love

  Chagall is known as “the last survivor of the first generation of modernism in Europe”. He once said: “Many people say that my paintings are poetic, fantasy, and misleading. In fact, on the contrary, my paintings are realistic. The…”
  As an artist, Chagall was at once a product of modernist Paris and Eastern European Jewish village, a mixture of urban and rural, old and new. That’s why his best work is sympathetic and dreamlike. This is why Chagall became Chagall.
  However, behind this compassion and dream, Marc Chagall took a brutal journey in his life, which unfolded in the midst of war, revolution, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. His work reflected the political climate of his time. These works are deeply personal and idiosyncratic, while also conveying his emotional and aesthetic responses to the satires, comedies, and tragedies of human existence.
  Awakening the Poetry of Expression in Paris
  In 1910, Marc Chagall moved to Paris from St. Petersburg. When he first arrived in Paris, Cubism was the dominant art form, while French art was still dominated by “nineteenth-century materialistic views”. However, Chagall did not enter the capital of art with bare hands. He is from Belarus, has mature color talent, has a fresh attitude towards emotion, likes poetry and music, and has a good sense of humor. Most importantly, he has a wealth of Slavic folklore, a Jewish Hasidic spirit, haunted dreams of his hometown of Vitebsk, and his beloved woman Bella.
  Even as he went on to become a cosmopolitan artist, Chagall’s storehouse of visual images never grew beyond the landscapes of his childhood, with its snow-white streets, wooden houses and ubiquitous violinists. Scenes from childhood are so indelibly in the painter’s mind and carry such intense emotion that they can only be released indirectly through the compulsive repetition of the same cryptic symbols and imagery. Many years later, the 57-year-old Chagall lived in the United States and published an open letter entitled “To My City Vitebsk”, confirming this: “I do not live with you, but I do not have a painting Without your spirit and thinking.”
  Scenes from Chagall’s life in Vitebsk were mostly painted while he was in Paris, and in a sense they are the painter’s dream. The longing and lost tone contained in the painting, as well as the detached and abstract appearance, made the poet Apollinaire deeply shocked by these qualities and exclaimed “surreal”. Chagall’s “Animal/Human Hybrids and Aerial Apparitions” would later have a formative influence on Surrealism.
  However, Chagall did not want his work to be associated with any genre or movement, and he believed that his personal symbolic language was meaningful only to himself. Although he initially experimented with Cubism for a short time, he wasn’t really fond of “filling a triangular table with square pears”. He felt that Cubism overly restricted the expressive techniques of painting, only deconstructed and reorganized objects, and he hoped to find a freer way of expression, a way that could present the inner truth. Chagall learned to decompose from Cubism, but what he decomposed was not the structure of the object, but the memory of experience. He said: “I collect and paint the images that occupy my heart.” At this time, he began to think that Art is “emerge from the inner existence, and produce spiritual outflow from the seen objects”, which is just the opposite of the creation method of Cubism.
  Chagall structured his pictures according to emotional and poetic associations, not according to the rules of pictorial logic. Art historian and curator James Sweeney writes: “This is Chagall’s contribution to contemporary art: the reawakening of a poetry of representation that avoids factual illustration on the one hand and Non-figurative abstraction.” French poet and critic André Breton said: “He alone has made a triumphant return of metaphor in modern painting.”
  Chagall’s image library, including huge Dreamy bouquets, melancholic clowns, flying lovers, magical animals, biblical prophets and fiddlers on rooftops, all these dreamlike themes are often placed in a “strange expressive juxtaposition”. While we can also tire of his over-repetitive themes, and his over-popularity and sentimentality, at their best they do reach a level of visual metaphor rarely attempted in modern art.
  Looking at Chagall’s works today, it is often the color that attracts our attention. Chagall was unrivaled in this ability, relying on the simplest use of color to give a vivid impression of explosive movement. Art historian Raymond Konya exclaimed, “Colors are a living and inseparable part of the picture, never passive and flat, nor like added mediocrity. They sculpt and activate the volume of shapes… Steeped in fantasy and invention, they add new perspectives and gradated, blended tones… Chagall’s colors do not even try to imitate nature, but suggest movement, plane and rhythm.” Throughout his life, he used Color creates a “vibrant atmosphere”, and this atmosphere is based entirely on “his personal opinion”, so Picasso commented on Chagall: “Since Matisse, he is the only one who really understands color. ”
  Love gives wings,
  but it doesn’t know where it will be blown.
  In Chagall’s paintings, “Lovers seek each other, embrace, caress, float in the air, meet in garlands, stretch, swoop, just like their vivid A melodious passage in a daydream. The acrobat twists himself at the end of the stem with the grace of an exotic flower; flowers and leaves are everywhere”.
  Most famously, the artist painted a series of flying paintings to celebrate his love with Bella. The two are not “as if” flying, but diagramming what it means to be romantic, to feel lighter than air, to be lifted, to be lifted, to fly through the sky, to float above a Russian village or the Eiffel Tower.
  Chagall’s painting of love is one of the most vivid imaginations of human flight. The pair swim like tadpoles and tug like kites in a strong wind. Flyer is huge compared to the towns below. The curve of the ground beneath their feet reflects their aerial perspective. They defied gravity, as if love had thrown them both into the air when they kissed; sometimes holding hands, sometimes bathed in moonlight, they were magically lifted from the ground by the power of life, under which life All mundane things suddenly seem gray and irrelevant.
  For the art of Marc Chagall, it is important to know Bella Rosenfeld: the woman who appears in many of the master’s works, she was his beacon, muse, model and devoted wife. Art historians estimate that she can be seen in more than 2,000 of Chagall’s paintings.
  Chagall first met Bella as a girl in 1909, and six years later, after pursuing a career in art for several years in Paris, Chagall returned home to marry Bella. At the time she wrote about a feeling that Chagall depicted so beautifully in his paintings. “I suddenly felt as if we were going to take off. You were also standing on one leg, as if there was no room for you in this small room. You soared up to the ceiling. Turned your head towards me, turned my head towards you…we Flying over flower fields, shuttered houses, roofs, yards, churches.”
  Since then, the artist has used flying as a metaphor, symbolizing freedom from the earth’s gravity and giving people love. However, the shackles of gravity cannot be easily escaped after all. Looking carefully at these flying paintings, Chagall and Bella are both active and passive. Sometimes the two are like crumpled, fluttering pieces of paper, blown here and there by the wind. Feeling that they are powerful, yet completely helpless.
  While enjoying a happy life, the couple also endured a lot of difficulties, poverty, misunderstanding and paranoia. Chagall found solace in his art, while Bella eventually gave up her writing and acting dreams to care for him and often had to raise their daughter alone When it was not his son, he was so angry that he did not visit them in the hospital for four days). Bella became Chagall’s critic, agent, translator, social ambassador and, of course, his model. It was not until her final years in exile in New York that Bella wrote her memoir, Burning Light, about her childhood in Vitebsk. In 1944, she died of a throat infection caused by a wartime shortage of penicillin.
  Chagall was an exile for most of his life, first by choice and later by circumstances. He easily identified with the image of the wandering Jew, finding solace in a hostile, anti-Semitic world. The images people have of Chagall—the brilliance of the green-faced fiddler on the roof and the romantic scene of the bride and the bouquet—are only part of his story.
  World War I, which ended in 1918, displaced nearly a million Jews and destroyed what remained for centuries of Jewish village life that defined most Eastern Europe. The disappearance of traditional Jewish society left behind powerful memories for artists like Chagall that could no longer be satisfied by tangible reality. Instead, this culture becomes an emotional and intellectual source that exists only in the painter’s imagination.
  In the 1930s, the images in Chagall’s pens began to be chaotic-bearded old men holding Talmud, lovers embracing each other, cows playing the violin, candles in the dark, grandfather clocks in the sky, wild hair, Fallen angels, and mother and child in the clouds. The angels are blood red, the women are mostly naked, and the men are either asleep, masked, or weeping. Terrible fear begins to battle whimsy, and no one knows which will win out.
  When he painted the grandfather clock and the river in Vitebsk, he was painting the river of time through the experience of losing time. It’s not exactly modern art, but as a ruin of the 20th century, it’s etched into our past.
  In one poem, Chagall asks: “Should I paint the earth, the sky, my heart? / The city is burning, my brother is fleeing? / My eyes are weeping. / Where should I run, fly To whom?”
  he complained in 1946, “today people call me a painter of fairy tales and fantasies”. And it is these “fairy tales and fantasies” that make him enduring in the minds of future generations. It can be seen that we always need fantasy, but most of us don’t understand the price behind fantasy.

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