The Musician by Marc Chagall- 1912- Brooklyn Museum
The first time I saw The Musician by Marc Chagall I was reminded of the fiddler in the musical Fiddler on the Roof. I wondered if there could be a connection between the French artist and the musical. I knew Chagall was Jewish and had been born in Russia and that Fiddler on the Roof is set in a Jewish community in Ukraine so I decided to follow my instincts and do a little research. Sure enough!
Turns out Chagall definitely influenced the creators, director and set designer of the musical. But there are varying opinions as to which painting of Chagall’s specifically provided that inspiration since the artist painted quite a number of works that featured violinists.
Some folks think the painting of Chagall’s that comes closest to the image of the fiddler in Fiddler on the Roof is …….
The Green Violinist by Marc Chagall – 1924 Guggenheim Museum
Others would nominate …….
Le Mort- Marc Chagall- 1924- Private Owner
And Chagall’s Wikipedia page says the inspiration was……
The Fiddler- Marc Chagall-1912-Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.
I think it could have been any of them. If you’ve seen the musical Fiddler on the Roof which candidate would you choose as the inspiration behind the Broadway hit?
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In Mainz Germany I visited St. Stephen’s Church. I saw the nine huge gorgeous stained glass windows in this Catholic cathedral created by the Jewish artist Marc Chagall. Chagall made the windows in the last decade of his life as a contribution to the Jewish-German reconciliation effort. Chagall himself was forced to flee France after it came under Nazi occupation. Chagall chose stories from the Old Testament for his windows, stories shared by both Judaism and Christianity. He hoped that the two faith traditions in Europe could build on their common threads and eventually come to the point where they could reconcile and work together for the common good.
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