La Vie is a visual collection of the motifs that have always been present in Marc Chagall's work. At the age of 76, the artist inscribes on the surface of the canvas a maelstrom of images that have punctuated his own artistic journey. Evocative rather than narrative, the composition concentrates intimate realities and universal subjects, sacred and profane themes.
Religious figures such as Moses, or the silhouette of a rabbi, rub shoulders with musicians, acrobats, dancers, animals and hybrid beings. Artistic creation is celebrated, with the representation of the painter at his easel, as is the inspiration of love, with the presence of the muse and a married couple under a canopy. In this universe between heaven and earth where bodies float, a Parisian landscape appears. This memory of the French capital, so dear to Marc Chagall, resurfaces at a time when the artist has been living in the South of France, since 1950 in Vence.
His dealers and friends, Marguerite and Aimé Maeght, were also his closest neighbours. They were behind the creation of a foundation dedicated to the greatest artists of the time, in 1964, in Saint-Paul de Vence. Marc Chagall contributed to the project by creating a mosaic that visitors can see at the entrance to the Maeght Foundation, as well as the large-format painting La Vie.
On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the Maeght Foundation is lending this masterpiece, La Vie, for one summer. For this off-wall presentation, the painting will interact with works from the Marc Chagall National Museum collection, showing both the unity and the diversity of the artist's sources of inspiration.
Maurice Fréchuret, Chief Curator of Heritage, Director of the National 20th Century Museums of the Alpes-Maritimes
Sarah Ligner, curator at the Musée national Marc Chagall
Visuel : Marc Chagall, La Vie, 1964. Huile sur toile, 1296 x 406 cm. © Archives Fondation Maeght © ADAGP, Paris, 2014.
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