INTRODUCTION

The exhibition Chagall. The states of the soul offer an overview of the artistic production of Marc Chagall (Vitebsk, Belarus 1887 – Saint Paul de Vence, France 1985) from his first series of engravings, created in the 1920s after settling in Paris.

Immersed in the avant-garde, Chagall quickly established himself as one of the most influential painters, thanks to his expressive personal language.

Art is for Chagall a spiritual state with which it is possible to create an intimate bond between the artwork and its viewer. Chagall is one of the artists who best embodies the desire for peace and dialogue between nations and religions. As an artist with a centenary life, he experienced first-hand the horrors of the two world wars, revolutions, persecutions, extermination and exile. With his life experience, Chagall considers that it is his duty to promote optimism and the celebration of existence through his art with which he can and must transmit a message of peace and universal love among men, as well as among different nations and religions.

Chagall is known as the “master of color, Pablo Picasso says about him: “After the death of Matisse, Chagall is the only artist who has really understood the essence of color (…). Since Renoir, there has been no painter who knew how to treat light with as much feeling as Chagall”. Also known as “the poet painter”, his artworks have a narrative style, full of a metaphoric sense and symbolic meaning, that he uses to foster the joy of life and hope in the human being.

CHAGALL, THE POET PAINTER

Chagall offers one of the most representative examples of the connection between painting and words in 20th century art.

The artist is admired by painters and poets of his time, such as Max Jacob. Chagall’s interest in literature is shown in his artworks the atmospheres are based on two abstract realities: time and feelings. Memories meet dreams and reality meet fantasy. As soon as Ambroise Vollard, the great dealer of Picasso or Matisse met the painter, he made his first commissions to illustrate canonical texts.

The exhibition shows Chagall’s deep relation with literature through an exquisite selection of artworks that include series such as Les Fables de La Fontaine (1952), Daphnis and Chloé (1961), Lettres d’hivernage (1973), – where the artist illustrates the poems of Léopold Sédar Sengor, focused on the poetic love for the beloved woman -, or Celui qui dit les choses sans rien dire (1976), in collaboration with the poet Louis Aragon.