Nice, France is a jewel of a city located along the fabulously blue Mediterranean Sea on the Cote d’Azur. This iconic city is famous for its beaches and seaside promenade and its boundless creative energy that comes from its never ending spirit of savourer la vie (savoring life). An expression of this creative energy is available and on view to all who come to this city at the Marc Chagall Museum, located in the middle of the city just a short jaunt from the train station, and is the largest collection of Chagall’s works in any one place. Perched on a high hill overlooking the city and the sea, the museum is located in a pleasant yet modest modernist building inaugurated in 1973 specifically for a series of 17 paintings created by Chagall from 1956 through 1966. For these paintings, Chagall was inspired by the biblical books of Genesis, Exodus, and Song of Solomon (also called Song of Songs). He hoped that through his paintings, he could bring back to humanity faith, hope and love which had been mostly lost after two world wars. And for this Museum, he hoped that it would be a place where people of all faiths and religions could come together to celebrate love.
Combining a Jewish and Russian heritage (he was born in Russia), Chagall’s modernist style is one that is simple and child-like, while also magical and mystical, and full of dream-like imagery. He carefully uses imagery of female creatures, hybrid beings, and elements of dreams to produce his own personal ethereal reality, and deep reds and oranges and blues and greens to bring emotion and feeling.
“I was born one might say, between heaven and earth; that the world for me is a great desert in which my soul wanders like a flaming torch. I have made paintings in unison with this distant dream…..If all life moves inevitably towards its own end, then we must, during our own, colour it with our colours of love and hope”—M. Chagall, July 7, 1973.
His work is powerful and consuming. Come to view it and you will be touched.