The Jewish Jesus

Arts

This comes direct from Let My People Show You and let me say this from the outset: the intention here is to share some art and by no means am I intending to provoke anything controversial

The description:

Resurrecting Chagall’s Jewish Jesus:

Marc Chagall is the prototypical Jewish artist, whose green Fiddler on the Roof became an enduring symbol of the precarious, joyful life of Eastern Europe’s Jews.

He is less celebrated, though, for his paintings of another iconic figure who obsessed him throughout his career: Jesus.

Starting with a line drawing of the Crucifixion he made in 1908 while studying art in St. Petersburg, Chagall depicted Christ on the cross dozens of times. Some Chagall Christs resemble the Eastern Orthodox icons the artist knew from his childhood in Russia. Others don’t look like the Christ in churches anywhere: they wear Jewish prayer shawls in place of a loincloth, and sometimes Tefillin, the leather boxes Jews strap to their foreheads and arms.

These religiously ambiguous figures populate “Chagall: Love, War, and Exile,” a startling and provocative show opening September 15 at the Jewish Museum in New York.

The green fiddler is here, along with flying blue cows and other popular Chagall motifs. But the dreamscape is now a nightmare. Villages burn, the patriarchs weep, and fleeing Jews clutch their Torah scrolls and each other.

The somber nature of the show might surprise audiences used to a more cheerful version of Marc Chagall, infused with nostalgia and joy.

MMA

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