"The Bible is life, and echo of nature, and this is the secret I have endeavored to translate" -Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall is a Jewish-Russian artist born in 1887. Religious and biblical elements are extremely prevalent in his work. In the 1930s he was commissioned to do a series of art work about the Bible called Le Bible. For the series he made etchings. All of the etchings are meant to show specific stories from the Old Testament. Chagall's early life was rooted in his Jewish beliefs and they had a strong impact on his work. The images are his interpretations of biblical stories. He drew upon many stories from the old testament in his series. These stories include Moses receiving the commandments, Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and worshiping the Golden Calf. In his work he uses very simple figures, this allows for the viewer to make their own interpretation of the story while giving a basic outline. This way the story can apply to virtually anyone. Chagall also uses very vibrant shocking colors in his biblical artwork. This adds a lot to the visual aspect and causes the viewer to really stop and look at whats going on. The colors are very "in your face". Paintings like this could even tell a dramatic story to someone who knew nothing about the stories in the Bible. For those who have read the biblical stories they add a visual interpretation and meaning.
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve are biblical characters that are found in the book of Genesis. They are the first humans that god created. God gave them the Garden of Eden to live in and they were told that the only thing that they could not do is eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge. Marc Chagall depicts a scene from Genesis where Adam is about to eat the fruit from the tree. In the etching Chagall uses colors that are found in nature. He uses simple figures that do not have a lot of detail. It is a very simple way to interpret and show a story that at the same time packs a lot of meaning. The faces on Adam and Eve are very somber, it is apparent they know they did something wrong. If you look closely you can see the apple in Adams hand. In the story Eve is told by a "serpent" that is she eats the fruit she will have knowledge. She is tempted and eats the fruit after she eats the fruit she gives it to Adam. Once they eat the fruit they realize that they are naked and hide. The etching by Marc Chagall looks like it takes place before Adam eats the apple. He is looking at Eve with an expression that makes it seem like he is saying, "are you really sure I should do this?" This etching is a way to get the viewer thinking more about the story and more encouraged to find out what happens next.