The green faced man, a goat-headed lover, floating figures and merry musicians are all part of the imagination of the French-Russian artist Marc Chagall. Known as the ‘artist of love and dreams’, Marc Chagall flirted with various artistic styles and experimented with painting, illustrations, prints, ceramics and tapestry. Here we explore five of the best places to view Chagall’s gorgeous works.
The 15 years that it took to build the world’s most famous opera house in Paris were well worth it. With a grand seating of 1,979 seats, Palais Garnier has a stage which can accommodate 450 artists at a time, making it Europe’s largest stage. Attending a show here is a must, not only for the breath-taking performances, but also for the intriguing masterpiece that adorns the ceiling of Palais Garnier. Surrounding a large, sparkling chandelier directly in the centre of the ceiling are foggy splashes of red, blue, green and yellow: a Modernist style painting by Marc Chagall which depicts stills from operas by 14 different composers, including Mozart, Wagner and Stravinsky.
If you’re seeking a pocket-friendly way of viewing Marc Chagall’s work, the Loop district of Chicago is the answer. Installed right next to the Chase Tower plaza is a 70 foot long slab with inlaid chips of coloured ceramic, a monumental mosaic by Marc Chagall depicting the four seasons. A walk around the mosaic masterpiece Four Seasons depicts the seasonal changes that happens to us, as humans, spiritually and bodily. The rhythmic and playful colours of the mosaic are sure to keep a walker’s mind captivated all the way past this 70 foot block of marvel.
So humbled was Marc Chagall by the enthusiasm and love that the Art Institute of Chicago had for his works and public art, that he created a work of genius specifically for the gallery, which was a tribute to the late Mayor Richard J. Daley in 1976. America Windows is a six panel stained glass window encapsulating Chagall’s typical style. It was also featured as the place where Sloane and Ferris kiss in the John Hughes’ film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986). The sapphire beautifully spreads an oceanic reflection of light inside the room, sparkling on the walls and ceiling.
The Musée National Marc Chagall in Nice is a must-visit for any Chagall enthusiast. The museum holds the largest collection of Chagall’s works in the world, and is a story book which features a delightful range of artworks, from practice sketches to enormous paintings. Perhaps most importantly, the museum features The Bible Illustrations, a series of striking paintings inspired by crucial events from the Old Testament of the Bible, and which reflect Chagall’s own Jewish heritage. The museum is the perfect place for visitors to enjoy a spiritual and religious ride through Chagall’s extraordinary paintings, stained glasses and sculptures.
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Last but not least, one of the best places to see Marc Chagall’s art is in the Union Church of Pocantico in Tarrytown, a beautiful village in the Westchester hills of New York. A little unexpected, perhaps, but Marc Chagall has left his footprints in every corner of this world. A remarkable nine stained glass windows radiate serenity and a brilliance of color and rhythm in this tiny church. The church not only includes the works of Marc Chagall, but also those of Henry Matisse, whose stained glass window was the last work of art he completed before his death in 1954.