Marc Chagall Essay Research Paper

Marc Chagall Essay, Research Paper

Marc Chagall

I chose Marc Chagall because I liked the colors that he used in his paintings. I

liked the way his painting technique looked on the canvas. His short brush strokes made it

appear as if one color was blending into another. There are areas in some of his paintings

where there are numerous colors, all made to look as if there was only one color. I also

like the way that his pictures seem to tell a story. When I first looked at Chagall s work, I

thought he just randomly threw ideas onto a canvas, but as I got to reading about him, I

found he put much more thought into his pictures than I had imagined. His use of color

vary from dark and dreary to bright and bold, and put forth feelings of terror and

excitement, depending on the colors which he chose to use. Another reason that I chose to

use Chagall as my artist would probably be because I didn t find that he painted a lot of

human heads, rather, he used animal heads. Seeing as how I m not very skilled when it

comes to drawing the human face, I thought it would be a good idea to choose Marc


Marc Chagall was born in 1887 in Vitebsk, Russia. He was born to a family that

was deeply rooted in Jewish religion and tradition. The Jewish and Russian folklore he

had learned of as a child influenced him deeply and provided the basis for much of his

artwork. It was this sense of fantasy that made Chagall famous, and because of it, he

remains famous. Chagall was considered a painter-poet of the twentieth century. He

transformed both the visible world and human emotions into visual poetry. Rather than

earning praise for this, Chagall heard criticism. The criticism he received for his work

included accusations that he was infatuated with literary, symbolic, and religious ideas.

Chagall moved to Paris in 1910 at the age of 23 and entered the arena of European

painting. His work from 1911 and 1912 are considered to be his first great works. He

adopted a biblical theme in his paintings soon afterwards and often painted crucifixions in

the background, each having reasons for being in that painting, but perhaps a different

reason than the previous one. Whenever Marc Chagall traveled, he took his latest work

with him. He always felt the need to be surrounded by his work.

Chagall altered and enhanced the expressive power of color. His colors were

different from that of the normal French use of color. Poets and thinkers took an interest in

him because of the unexpected widening of the intellectual horizon, in which images of

dream, memory and fantasy became just as important as visible reality. Some described

his work as supernatural. Chagall used what was going on around him in his paintings,

also what happened to him in the past. The past and what was going on around him were

both important and included in his work. An example of how he used the past and what

was going on around him is the oil painting on canvas, The Falling Angel. He

incorporated the feelings of terror of war into his work. He worked on this piece from

1923 to 1947. He incorporated what he thought to be significant events from the world

around him and from his life. He didn t work on this painting continuously, rather he took

breaks from his work and when he was inspired to work on that specific piece, he did. He

basically worked on The Falling Angel during the years 1923, 1933 and 1947, when it

was finally completed. In his later years, he added more to his earlier pieces, with the help

of his deepened life experiences, he expanded on his paintings to reflect him. The Falling

Angel depicts war, flight and exile. This picture has historical content including a fleeing

Jew trying to preserve the Torah roll. Chagall said that he would much rather be

considered a painter rather than a poet, because that is what his life was. In his early years

of painting, Chagall used oil on cardboard, and then switched to oil on canvas in his later

years. He also seemed to use a wider variety of color in his later years. Chagall also

seemed to use the wrong color for an object, not using the correct or actual color, he used

what was in his imagination or what he felt best represented that animal or object.

Chagall used complements in his work to make significant parts of a painting stand

out. In general, the forms became massive and not proportional to the rest of the piece, in

order to make certain parts stand out more, or seem more significant. Chagall definitely

creates a sense of feeling in his paintings. What he wants you to feel or think, he expresses

through how large he makes his objects and what colors he uses. The sizes of his objects

are not necessarily balanced or proportional, but they work how he wants them to.

Chagall rarely used jagged edges in his work, rather he used flowing lines, and curvy


I think Chagall s work seems as if it tells a story, however, I don t think he should

be regarded as a painter-poet. A lot of artists work depicts a story or something that

happened in their life. Chagall used his imagination to tell a story, as do poets and writers,

but so do other painters. His work does put him in a class of his own because it basically

lets you feel the emotions he was feeling by how he painted, what colors he used and what

he chose to paint, the objects, and their size. Chagall went beyond the objects, the

landscape, the nude and the still life, he moved away from the traditional subject matter of

painting, and he moved onto new realms such as dreams, visions and legends. His colors

were inspired by Russian folklore and the work of artists known as the Fauves. His colors

were said to sing, or tell a story. It is Chagall s depictions of the supernatural that

permeate his paintings, his stain-glass windows, mosaics, tapestries, sculptures, graphics

and stage designs from disappearing throughout the decades or becoming lost in what we

know as the he showed promise works. I like Chagall s paintings because of his use of

brilliant colors, and his disregard to size and shape, he draws things how he wants to, not

the way he necessarily sees them.


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