Born in 1887 in Russia and naturalized French in 1937, Marc Chagall forever remains one of the most famous foreign artists attracted by this oh-so special light of the South of France.
His work is not linked to any school – even if he rubbed shoulders with all the artistic trends of his time, from surrealism to fauvism via neo-primitivism – and his style remains absolutely unique.
As a versatile genius, endowed with an unlimited imagination, the painter-poet Chagall deployed his art on canvas, engraving, sculpture, stained glass, or paper.
His work is immense and varied, but if we have to evoke the paintings exhibited at the Biblical Message museum in Nice, it should be noted that Chagall has always considered the Bible as “the greatest source of poetry of all time”.
As early as 1930, Chagall produced a series of illustrations on the Bible at the request of the art dealer Ambroise Vollard.
Twenty years later, Chagall came up with the idea of bringing back to life an abandoned chapel in the South of France by imagining a collection of paintings inspired by the Book of Genesis, the Exodus and the Song of Songs.
However, the work metamorphosed during the process into a poetic and dreamlike universe, where the human figure, vibrant, soft and worthy of love, radiates thanks to the blaze of colors.
Presenting the work of the Biblical Message completed in 1966 in a religious building became inthinkable, Chagall ultimately wishing to offer it a more universal setting.
He therefore donated the work of the Biblical Message to the French State, which exhibited it at the Louvre museum before presenting it in 1973 at the national museum of the Biblical Message in Nice (the former name of the museum).
This museum, specifically designed for this monumental ensemble of twelve paintings on the Book of Genesis and the Exodus and five paintings on the Song of Songs, was inaugurated during Chagall’s lifetime in the presence of André Malraux, Minister of Culture at the time.
The museum as such is a haven of peace. It is surrounded by a Mediterranean garden dotted with olive trees, cypresses, pines and holm oaks, and agapanthuses bloom every year on July 7, Chagall’s birthday.
Abraham and the three angels
Jacob wrestling with the angel
Adam and Eve expelled from Paradise
Moise and the burning bush
The Bible’s women, Rachel and Lea
Song of Songs I
Song of Songs II
Song of Songs III
Song of Songs IV
Song of Songs V