Sunday, August 27, 2017

Love Paintings

Marc Chagall and his wife Bella had what seems to be rare, a true love connection.  They met in 1909 and fell in love at first sight. 

Chagall was of a Lithuanian Jewish family, born in Russia but the Russian revolution created financial problems for the artist. In 1922 the Chagall family move to Pairs.

After moving to Paris, during the1920's and 1930's he achieved fame.  However, this brought attention to the fact that he was Jewish.  As the Nazis gained power in Europe, there was danger for the Chagall family.  His work, particularly, was mocked by the Nazis.
By the time that Chagall realized how close the Nazis were, it was too late.  The only country he safely go to was the US but he didn't have the money to post the bond required for immigration.
Fortunately, Chagall's daughter convinced Alfred Barr of the New York Museum of Modern Art to save her father. Together with Varian Fry, an American journalist, and Hiram Bingham IV, the American Vice-Consul in Marseilles, artists and intellectuals were smuggled out of Europe to the US with forged visas. Chagall was one of over 2,000 who were rescued.
The Chagall family arrived in New York in 1941 but sadly, his wife passed away in 1944. In 1948 he moved back to Côte d'Azur and lived there until his death in 1985. 
After Bella's death, Chagall was heartbroken.  His daughter set him up with a young woman. Virginia, and he quickly went into a love affair with her.  Unfortunately, she was already married. Virginia had a son, David, in 1946 who was Chagall's but did not carry his name.  Finally, she divorced her husband in 1951 but ran off with a totally different man.      
 Again, Chagall was heartbroken and again, his daughter set him up with another good looking young woman!  Very quickly they were married and stayed together until his death in 1985. 

Marc Chagall called Love the primary color of his paintings. He said that the central source of love in his paintings was his wife Bella.   

“I had only to open my window, and blue air, love and flowers entered with her. She seemed to float over my canvases, guiding my art.” — Marc Chagall

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