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Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall
Price:$19.95
Author:Jonathan Wilson

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Number of Pages:238

Hard Cover

Description:

Novelist and critic Jonathan Wilson clears away the sentimental mists surrounding an artist whose career spanned two World Wars, the Russian Revolution, the Holocaust, and the birth of the State of Israel. Marc Chagall’s work addresses these transforming events, but his ambivalence about his role as a Jewish artist adds an intriguing wrinkle to common assumptions about his life. Drawn to sacred subject matter, he remains defiantly secular in outlook; determined to “narrate” the miraculous and tragic events of the Jewish past, he chooses Jesus as a symbol of martyrdom and sacrifice. Wilson demonstrates how Chagall’s life constitutes a grand canvas on which much of twentieth-century Jewish history is vividly portrayed. Chagall left his shtetl for Paris at the dawn of modernism, looking back dreamily on the world he abandoned. After a stint as a Soviet Commissar for art, he returned to Paris but was forced to flee to the United States steps ahead of the Nazis. Drawn to Israel but not enough to live there, Chagall grappled endlessly with a nostalgic attachment to the vanished past and the magnetic pull of an uninhibited secular present. Wilson’s portrait of Chagall is altogether more historical, more political, and edgier than conventional wisdom would have us believe—showing us how Chagall is the emblematic Jewish artist of the twentieth century.