Chagall at Musée du Luxembourg

The more I learn about the 20th century Russian painter Marc Chagall, the more I appreciate his work. The current show at the Musée du Luxembourg, “Chagall, Between War and Peace,” taught me this: however much Chagall’s work seems to depict imaginary worlds, the artist was grounded in reality.

The expo examines the artist’s life and work against the backdrop of 2 World Wars, exile, and intermittent moments of peace. As imaginative as his paintings appear, Chagall’s subjects came from his immediate environment.

Paintings of his wife Bella, who he married in Russia in 1915, express safety within the intimacy of family, despite a world at war. Drawings of wounded soldiers in the streets of Vitebsk, near the Russian front, chronicle the ravages of war. Later, Chagall drew on his Jewish roots in his sets for the Jewish Theater in Moscow, and in a series of gouaches in preparation for Bible illustrations.

The show contains more than 100 works, including oil paintings on canvas and paper, ink drawings, preparatory gouaches, watercolors, and pencil drawings. The works evoke a magical world—inhabited by life as Chagall knew it.

Until July 21.

Have you seen the show? Let us know what you think.