Monday, July 7, 2008

July 7: birthday of Marc Chagall (and of beloved nephew)

Today is the birthday of the Russian-French painter Marc Chagall, one of my favorite artists.

I have a small lithograph of the above in my study. (Back in the 1970s, you could find 'em cheap in a French art magazine called Derrière le Mirroir.)

Chagall is not all flowers and flights of fancy. The painting below, "White Crucifixion," was occasioned by his reflection on the Shoah (Holocaust) and the decades of persecution and pogroms suffered by Chagall's Jewish neighbors and kin in his native Russia.

One also wonders whether the story of the Jewish artist in Chaim Potok's My Name is Asher Lev (am I remembering the right book?) and his use of crucifixion as a symbol in his painting was in any way inspired by Potok's viewing of this painting. Just a speculation, but it's possible.

Today is also, by happy coincidence, the birthday of Nephew the Younger, who is 35 years old!

(Brother of Acts of Hope, father of Nephew the Elder and Nephew the Younger, is a decade older than his baby sister, Ms. Acts of Hope here, which accounts for the adult nephews.)

Nephew the Younger, to the delight of everyone in the family, is in the wine biz. Alas, he lives in Italy (and is not to be confused with Nephew the Elder, who lives in Portugal) so it's a little hard for Auntie Jane R to bop on over and mooch freebies from him. He is also a cat person and Her Grace Maya Pavlova and I have sent him love and feline vibrations on this auspicious day.

And a couple more...

This next one is part of Chagall's series inspired by the Song of Songs.


+clumber said...

I agree completely! The Chagall windows at the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem are almost magical in their ability to captivate the viewer...

FranIAm said...

Oh deep sigh. The day I went to Hadassah the windows could not be viewed for some reason.

What was astounding was how much wandering I freely did there... It was in 2004 too,not so long ago.

Go figure.

How I love Chagall. And birthday wishes.

susankay said...

Oh my, yes. Chagall. And nephews of course.

pj said...

Oooh, you posted some wonderful Chagalls that we don't often get to see. I luff that man.

July 7 is also the birthday of Ringo Starr.

And my Dad's cousin and bff Arnold. I'm certain they're telling each other jokes in heaven right now. (And boy is heaven groaning.)

Caminante said...

Great images. In 1985 (?) I went to the Chagall exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and thoroughly enjoyed it. The crucifixion painting as always struck me.

susankay said...

And I should also tell you that my stepson who began drinking and drugging at the age of 9, has now at the age of 39 been sober and straight for 2 1/2 years. Recovery happens.