Chagall M. Promenade. 1917 Promenade
Oil on canvas. 170 x 163.5
Between 1917 and 1918, Marc Chagall created a series of paintings that were in essence selfportraits with his young wife Bella. The motif of flight common to the works of the cycle acquires its most lively and spontaneous embodiment and possibly its simplest and clearest explanation in Promenade. There is simply not enough room for the two lovers on the earth and so Bella flies upwards into the sky.
The canvas is permeated with metaphors — the still-life on the red tablecloth recalling the wedding banquet, the bare branch about to burst into blossom against the background of the sky, and the bird that the young artist clutches in his hand.
Chagall M. Jew in Red. 1915 Jew in Red
Oil on cardboard. 100 x 80.5
After returning to Vitebsk from Paris in 1914, Marc Chagall painted a series of pictures that were then exhibited in St Petersburg.
The catalogue of the exhibition lists such works as Green Jew, Jew with a Sack and Jew with a Violin. Red Jew seems to have been exhibited as Jew with Letters. This work can be considered one of the most dramatic paintings of the cycle, thanks to the tones referred to in the later title of the work. Colour transforms the indigent old Jew into a truly tragic image, endowed with epic force.