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Marc Chagall (Jewish Encounters)

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Marc Chagall (Jewish Encounters) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Part of the Jewish Encounter series

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, Chagall remains defiantly secular in outlook; determined to “narrate” the miraculous and tragic events of the Jewish past, he frequently chooses Jesus as a symbol of martyrdom and sacrifice.

Wilson brilliantly demonstrates how Marc Chagall’s life constitutes a grand canvas on which much of twentieth-century Jewish history is vividly portrayed. Chagall left Belorussia for Paris in 1910, at the dawn of modernism, looking back dreamily on the world he abandoned. After his marriage to Bella Rosenfeld in 1915, he moved to Petrograd, but eventually returned to Paris after a stint as a Soviet commissar for art. Fleeing Paris steps ahead of the Nazis, Chagall arrived in New York in 1941. Drawn to Israel, but not enough to live there, Chagall grappled endlessly with both a nostalgic attachment to a 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.

Visit nextbook.org/chagall for a virtual museum of Chagall images.

Review:

"Born Moishe Shagal in 1887, the son of a poor Orthodox Jewish laborer drew lifelong inspiration from his native Vitebsk, Belorussia. Chagall became famous for painting explosively colorful rooftop fiddlers, airborne cows and lovers floating above onion-domed churches, and a tallith-wrapped crucified Jesus. A victim of anti-Semitism who was ambivalent about his role as a Jewish artist, Chagall adorned churches and synagogues with stained-glass windows and often chose Christ as his symbol of martyrdom when depicting Jewish tragedies. Chagall's road to fame is mapped out by Wilson: his exposure, as a St. Petersburg student, to Matisse's dazzling palette; feverishly productive early years in Paris, where he absorbed an array of artistic influences; his immersion in politics in postrevolution Vitebsk, where he founded an art school; his return to Paris, where the legendary Vollard became his art dealer; and his New York exile during the Holocaust, where his beloved wife, Bella, died (he lived on for four more decades). Wilson's critiques (particularly of Chagall's 'slippery' identity and his work's supposed sentimentality) are familiar, and this is less a fresh biography than a synthesis of writings by Benjamin Harshav, Chagall and his intimates. But Wilson (A Palestine Affair) is an incisive, lively writer. Domestic photos are included, but the omission of color reproductions of Chagall's oeuvre in this entry in the Jewish Encounters series is frustrating." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

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 Chagalls 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, Chagall remains defiantly secular in outlook; determined to “narrate” the miraculous and tragic events of the Jewish past, he frequently chooses Jesus as a symbol of martyrdom and sacrifice.

Wilson brilliantly demonstrates how Marc Chagalls life constitutes a grand canvas on which much of twentieth-century Jewish history is vividly portrayed. Chagall left Belorussia for Paris in 1910, at the dawn of modernism, looking back dreamily on the world he abandoned. After his marriage to Bella Rosenfeld in 1915, he moved to Petrograd, but eventually returned to Paris after a stint as a Soviet commissar for art. Fleeing Paris steps ahead of the Nazis, Chagall arrived in New York in 1941. Drawn to Israel, but not enough to live there, Chagall grappled endlessly with both a nostalgic attachment to a vanished past and the magnetic pull of an uninhibited secular present.

Wilsons 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.

Visit nextbook.org/chagall for a virtual museum of Chagall images.

Synopsis:

The author of "An Ambulance Is on the Way" offers a brilliant new perspective on one of the most beloved--and most misunderstood--artists of the 20th century. Illustrations.

About the Author

Jonathan Wilson is the author of A Palestine Affair, The Hiding Room, Schoom, and An Ambulance Is on the Way: Stories of Men in Trouble; and of two critical studies of the fiction of Saul Bellow. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and Best American Short Stories, among other publications. A professor of English at Tufts University, he lives with his family in Newton, Massachusetts.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805242010
Author:
Wilson, Jonathan
Publisher:
Schocken Books Inc
Subject:
Artists, Architects, Photographers
Subject:
Russia (federation)
Subject:
Jewish artists.
Subject:
Chagall, Marc
Subject:
Jewish artists - Russia (Federation)
Subject:
Biography-Artists Architects and Photographers
Series:
Jewish Encounters
Publication Date:
20070331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
BandW ILLUSTRATIONS THROUGHOUT
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
7.72x5.32x.98 in. .75 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Artists
Biography » Artists, Architects, and Photographers
Reference » Science Reference » General
Religion » Judaism » History

Marc Chagall (Jewish Encounters) New Hardcover
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$18.75 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Schocken Books - English 9780805242010 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Born Moishe Shagal in 1887, the son of a poor Orthodox Jewish laborer drew lifelong inspiration from his native Vitebsk, Belorussia. Chagall became famous for painting explosively colorful rooftop fiddlers, airborne cows and lovers floating above onion-domed churches, and a tallith-wrapped crucified Jesus. A victim of anti-Semitism who was ambivalent about his role as a Jewish artist, Chagall adorned churches and synagogues with stained-glass windows and often chose Christ as his symbol of martyrdom when depicting Jewish tragedies. Chagall's road to fame is mapped out by Wilson: his exposure, as a St. Petersburg student, to Matisse's dazzling palette; feverishly productive early years in Paris, where he absorbed an array of artistic influences; his immersion in politics in postrevolution Vitebsk, where he founded an art school; his return to Paris, where the legendary Vollard became his art dealer; and his New York exile during the Holocaust, where his beloved wife, Bella, died (he lived on for four more decades). Wilson's critiques (particularly of Chagall's 'slippery' identity and his work's supposed sentimentality) are familiar, and this is less a fresh biography than a synthesis of writings by Benjamin Harshav, Chagall and his intimates. But Wilson (A Palestine Affair) is an incisive, lively writer. Domestic photos are included, but the omission of color reproductions of Chagall's oeuvre in this entry in the Jewish Encounters series is frustrating." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , 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 Chagalls 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, Chagall remains defiantly secular in outlook; determined to “narrate” the miraculous and tragic events of the Jewish past, he frequently chooses Jesus as a symbol of martyrdom and sacrifice.

Wilson brilliantly demonstrates how Marc Chagalls life constitutes a grand canvas on which much of twentieth-century Jewish history is vividly portrayed. Chagall left Belorussia for Paris in 1910, at the dawn of modernism, looking back dreamily on the world he abandoned. After his marriage to Bella Rosenfeld in 1915, he moved to Petrograd, but eventually returned to Paris after a stint as a Soviet commissar for art. Fleeing Paris steps ahead of the Nazis, Chagall arrived in New York in 1941. Drawn to Israel, but not enough to live there, Chagall grappled endlessly with both a nostalgic attachment to a vanished past and the magnetic pull of an uninhibited secular present.

Wilsons 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.

Visit nextbook.org/chagall for a virtual museum of Chagall images.

"Synopsis" by , The author of "An Ambulance Is on the Way" offers a brilliant new perspective on one of the most beloved--and most misunderstood--artists of the 20th century. Illustrations.
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