Chagall by Jackie Wullschlager
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By Jackie Wullschlager


A Biography

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Format: Hardback

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Chagall by Jackie Wullschlager

Book Description

"When Matisse dies," Pablo Picasso remarked in the 1950s, "Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what color really is." As a pioneer of modernism and one of the greatest figurative artists of the twentieth century, Marc Chagall achieved fame and fortune, and over the course of a long career created some of the best-known and most-loved paintings of our time. Yet behind this triumph lay struggle, heartbreak, bitterness, frustration, lost love, exile--and above all the miracle of survival. Born into near poverty in Russia in 1887, the son of a Jewish herring merchant, Chagall fled the repressive "potato-colored" tsarist empire in 1911 for Paris. There he worked alongside Modigliani and Leger in the tumbledown tenement called La Ruche, where "one either died or came out famous." But turmoil lay ahead--war and revolution; a period as an improbable artistic commissar in the young Soviet Union; a difficult existence in Weimar Germany, occupied France, and eventually the United States. Throughout, as Jackie Wullschlager makes plain in this groundbreaking biography, he never ceased giving form on canvas to his dreams, longings, and memories. His subject, more often than not, was the shtetl life of his childhood, the wooden huts and synagogues, the goatherds, rabbis, and violinists--the whole lost world of Eastern European Jewry. Wullschlager brilliantly describes this world and evokes the characters who peopled it: Chagall's passionate, energetic mother, Feiga-Ita; his eccentric fellow painter and teacher Bakst; his clever, intense first wife, Bella; their glamorous daughter, Ida; his tough-minded final companion and wife, Vava; and the colorful, tragic array of artist, actor, and writer friends who perished under the Stalinist regime. Wullschlager explores in detail Chagall's complex relationship with Russia and makes clear the Russian dimension he brought to Western modernism. She shows how, as Andre Breton put it, "under his sole impulse, metaphor made its triumphal entry into modern painting," and helped shape the new surrealist movement. As art critic of the" Financial Times, " she provides a breadth of knowledge on Chagall's work, and at the same time as an experienced biographer she brings Chagall the man fully to life--ambitious, charming, suspicious, funny, contradictory, dependent, but above all obsessively determined to produce art of singular beauty and emotional depth. Drawing upon hitherto unseen archival material, including numerous letters from the family collection in Paris, and illustrated with nearly two hundred paintings, drawings, and photographs, "Chagall" is a landmark biography to rank with Hilary Spurling's "Matisse" and John Richardson's "Picasso."

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780375414558
ISBN-10: 037541455X
Format: Hardback
(241mm x 185mm x 47mm)
Pages: 582
Imprint: Alfred A. Knopf
Publish Date: 1-Oct-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...

Books By Author Jackie Wullschlager

Chagall by Jackie Wullschlager Chagall, Paperback (April 2010)

Born as the son of a Russian Jewish herring merchant, Chagall fled the repressive 'potato-colored' czarist empire in 1911 to develop his genius in Paris, living alongside Modigliani and Leger in La Ruche, the artist's colony where 'you either died or came out famous'. This title presents the account of Chagall the man and the artist.

Fairy Tales by Jackie Wullschlager Fairy Tales, Paperback (November 2006)

Collects such fairy tales as: "The Tinderbox"; "The Emperor's New Clothes"; "The Little Mermaid"; "The Ugly Duckling"; "The Ice maiden"; and, "The Wood Nymph".

» View all books by Jackie Wullschlager


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Author Biography - Jackie Wullschlager

Jackie Wullschlager is chief art critic for the "Financial Times. "Her books include a prizewinning life of Hans""Christian Andersen and an acclaimed group biography of""children's book writers, "Inventing Wonderland."

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Chagall by Jackie Wullschlager
Fairy Tales by Jackie Wullschlager
Fairy Tales by Jackie Wullschlager
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