ON POETRY, WRITING AND RANDOM CULTURAL MATTERS

Monday, 15 April 2013

Chagall at the Musee du Luxembourg

First really hot day of the year, let's stay indoors. Are we mad? No, just been meaning to go to the Chagall exhibition for weeks and haven't time until now. Luckily the queue was short and we breezed right in. The museum is relatively small by Paris standards, which makes the show seem cozy, rather too cozy in fact, as they let in too many people and we all know how good the French are at respecting personal space...

Enough groaning, I am naturalising clearly. The exhibition is packed with brilliant paintings. All the icons and imagery you'd expect, over and over, in different arrangements and colours.

I find the yellow-red-purple schemes shocking to the eye, but since these were almost all the war paintings, I am guessing that is the point, a visual assault. I prefer the more muted blues and greens and the first room of early paintings is a joy, as are the biblical illustrations and the final rooms.

I am confused by the mixed Jewish and Christian iconography, but haven't yet found a good explanation. I loved the pen and ink work and there is at least one stunning portrait in pencil. 

Go see for yourself whatever the weather, for after all what is life without a goat serenading the shtetl, a mermaid in the night sky over Nice, or a fish holding an umbrella. L'chei-im! and to that lovely cup of Darjeeling in Angelina's next door afterwards.


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