“Only love interests me, and I am only in contact with things that revolve around love.”
– Marc Chagall
That sounds heavenly! I wish I could do that. Live a life infused with love and nothing but love. I envy Marc Chagall for his unwavering positive attitude. It was one that would make Norman Vincent Peale proud. A rarity among famous artists, Chagall refused to submit to his inner neurotic (assuming he even had one) or convey the world as a bleak, cynical, miserable place. It’s even more impressive for a guy who grew up poor in a Jewish ghetto under imperial Russia, yet still described his childhood as “happy”. Then came adulthood, and a surveilled life in St. Petersberg that required all Jews to carry permits and obey restrictions. And then, years later, fleeing Paris to escape Nazi persecution. Such harsh adversities would engender considerable and justifiable anger, fear, and bitterness in most people. But not Marc Chagall.
When he painted people, he depicted them happy, carefree, in love with each other and the world around them. Bursting color, whimsical abandon, and childlike innocence distinguish his work. In Chagall’s vision, love is the answer, the reason for being, just as it was in his off-canvas life. When he met Bella Rosenfeld, a jeweler’s daughter, Chagall said it was love at first sight. They married in 1915, and their bond remained strong and unbreakable for 30 years. When Bella died in 1944 from a viral infection, Chagall was devastated. He had lost his artistic muse, companion, mother of his daughter Ida, and his best friend.
We should all be motivated by love, whether romantic love, platonic love, love of life, laughter, hopes and dreams, art and music, love for family and children, love of earth and animals. My writing of this post, for example, is inspired by love for a dear friend, Stephanie. She is a Chagall fan, and my love and affection for her, and the memories we share, inspired this blog entry 🙂
This is Chagall’s Above the Town. Now that looks like a great date. Talk about being swept off your feet!
Again, Chagall does the euphoric “floating in air” thing. Bella was his model for this painting. She flies like a kite, buoyed by jubilation and youthful exuberance. And check out that big crazy grin on the man’s face! This is Promenade:
Today, Chagall’s paintings fetch upwards of $6 million at auction. His work is popular and beloved by many for their vivid, lively spirit and enduring charm. It’s nice to know that happiness never goes out of style 🙂
*Note to my readers: I’m heading out of town for the weekend to attend my cousin’s graduation from Clark University. Yay! I’m so proud of him. So me and the family are driving up to Worcester, Massachusetts on Saturday morning, and returning on Sunday night. I’ll be back blogging either Monday or Tuesday, with new posts and comment responses. Will miss you all, and have a great weekend!!