Marc Chagall was an early modernist and created work for virtually every medium. This includes paintings, Book illustrations, Stage Sets, Ceramics, Tapestries, Fine Art Prints and Stained Glass Windows. “When Matisse dies, Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what colour really is” remarked Pablo Picasso in the 1950’s

Chagall was referred to as “the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century” by Art critic, Robert Hughes. Also, according to Art Historian Michael J. Lewis, Chagall was considered to be “the last survivor of the first generation of European modernists.”

The reason he is part of my 20 example of amazing use of light is because of his Stained Glass Windows. For this medium, he produced windows for the cathedrals of Reims, Metz, the United Nations, Israel and many more.

Chagall’s passion to work closely with intense and fresh colours lead him easily into the realm of stained glass. It gave him the opportunity to work directly with natural light which is constantly changing. Stained glass is an experience which is literally different to everyone who sees it. The viewers experience depends on the position the viewer is standing and the weather outside.

Chagall’s ‘greatest’ work is said to be his twelve stained glass windows in Jerusalem which represent the twelve tribes of Israel. This task took him two full years to for fill and once completed in 1961, the windows were exhibited in Paris and then the Museum of Modern Art in New York. They were then installed permanently in Jerusalem during February 1962. Each of the twelve windows is approximately 11 feet high and 8 feet (2.4 m) wide, much larger than anything he had done before. It is recorded, however, that Chagall was disappointed that they were to be lit with artficial light and so would not change according to the conditions of the weather.

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Lewis, Michael J. “Whatever Happened to Marc Chagall?” Commentary, October, 2008 pgs. 36-37