Jerusalem has been back in the news with fervor lately, due to the new administration’s desire to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a cultural rich city, full of history, art, and artifacts from many different cultures. Not only does the city hold ancient art, but work from modern day artists as well.
Marc Chagall, born in Vitebsk, Russia, spent much of his life working in Europe and America. As an artist, Chagall was deeply invested in colors. He strove to find the perfect hue and his works a sight to behold. Later in his life, he began working in glass. Glass was a wonderful way to create brilliant colors that simply were not possible in their vibrancy when on canvas. He was eventually commissioned to create stained glass windows in the Metz Cathedral in France. Before the windows were installed, they went on display in Paris. It was here that Dr. Mariam Freund and Joseph Neufeld from the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center saw the works on display and asked Chagall to create a series of windows for the synagogue in the medical center.
Chagall quickly agreed and set to work on a series of 12 windows – large, at 11 feet high and 8 feet wide. For the commission he worked with Charles Marq, who worked at a Simon Marq Atelier in France. The pair would go on to collaborate on many other projects together. The 12 windows were to be the 12 Tribes of Israel – Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Zebulun, Issachar, Dan, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Benjamin, and Joseph. The windows draw primarily on blue, red, yellow, and green colors schemes. Read more about the exquisite windows here.
“The Chagall Windows.” Hadassah Medical Center. http://www.hadassah-med.com/about/art-at-hadassah/chagall-windows
Leymarie, Jean. Marc Chagall: The Jerusalem Windows. New York: Park Lane, 1988.
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Known for his exquisite palate and control of color in his graphic oeuvre, Marc Chagall's stained glass windows are no exception. This incredible talent permeates his later work with the stained glass medium as well.