Fragments of Light

Monthly Archives: January 2016

The Soul of Things, Part 2

White Crucifixion, Marc Chagall, 1938.
White Crucifixion, Marc Chagall, 1938.

“If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.”― Marc Chagall

In her 1948 essay, Chagall ou I’Orage enchante, (Chagall or the Magical Storm), the French poet and philosopher, Raïssa Maritain, discusses Chagall’s use of abstract form in his paintings: He does not avoid natural forms; he does not fly from them, on the contrary he makes them his own through the love he bears them, but by the same token he transforms and transfigures them, brings out and draws from them their own surreality, finding there the symbols of joy and life in their purified essence, their spiritual soul. . . . With no preconceived idea, through his art’s magic, through the liberation of his internal world, Chagall has created forms signifying a spiritual universe entirely his own.

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