From the East to the West, from Vitesk, his birthplace, to Paris, New York, Vence and finally Saint-Paul, his life ends on the sunny shores of the Mediterranean. Marc Chagall's life as well as his art were a long quest, an itinerant journey towards enlightenment. Never has an artist succeeded in linking with such intimacy his emotions and memories to the flamboyance of an art where his message becomes universal.
Chagall's paintings, as we know, draw their inspiration from his Jewish and Slave cultural backgrounds, known under the name of 'Shetl'. He succeeded in reawakening art through swirl of complex images that are so deeply attaching and demand the support of an erudite code even though their simplicity makes for an immediate reading. It must be understood though, that there is a Chagallian paradox which is entire in its union of oppositions; on the one hand a deeply entrenched belief in family values and collective traditions of the Jewish practice, on the other a violent aspiration for the freedom to paint and to spread the universal word. But what could be closer to the vision and the heart of a man, of any man, than this world of original innocence, present in each and every one of us, where the figures of fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters, as well as those of the fiancée or the wife who we may all tenderly love? Who hasn't felt in his past the painful wrench from his home land, from wandering, from exile, from the loneliness of prohibition and the tenacious hope which alleviates and comforts? Thus, the asses and the cows with their tender eyes, as well as the angels flying in spangled skies; every fiction of a pictorial universe carry the artist in the forgotten wonders of a lost paradise.