Aleksandra Bzdzikot




Chagall at Kunstmuseum in Basel

Last Saturday I made a small trip to Basel to see the exhibition of Marc Chagall's artworks. It was a great occassion that I couldn't imagine to miss!

Maybe some of you do some shopping on Saturdays, but I prefer to stay away from the crowds and start my day in a more creative way.


A nice city trip definitely fited well in my agenda for a lovely weekend.  As well as seeing the colorful and symbolic paintings of Chagall.



After taking the morning train from Zurich HB, we arrived to the museum in Basel and saw a long queue of people willing to buy the ticket.

I like when people appreciate art and are willing to discover something new, spending a Saturday morning exploring the visions of Marc Chagall.




Marc Chagall's poetic, colorful and figurative style made him one of the most popular modern artists. However, he only got famous when he was in his fifties and sixties.The personal story of tha artist is always essential to interpret his paintings. Therefore, here are some interesting facts about Marc Chagall:


1) He was born in 1887 in Vitebsk, Belarus and was one of the nine children.

2) His family was Jewish and being Jewish played a big role in is life and the artworks he created.

3) Saint Petersburg, Vitebsk, Paris, New York - these are just a few cities in which he lived.

4) He used to dress up like a dandy and put make up on, which caused speculations regarding his sexuality.

5) Paris is one of the places where he spent a significant part of his life.

6) He knew Modigliani, Picasso and other members of the French Boheme, however, he was not a frequent party-goer. He prefered to stay in at his atelier and devote to his painting passion.


Throughout the exhibition, I decided to choose a couple of the paintings which I liked most of all. They are not his top and well-known paintings, which you see when you type "Marc Chagall" in google.


One of them is "The fight in the moonlight", painted in 1911.



This small painting, to me, has an intricate philosophical message. We see two figures fighting with each other, up on some hill. The moon and the stars are shining. Take notice of the moon - in fact, it's portrayed with a smiley. Quite unusual, especially in times when there was no internet or 'smileys' culture.

The colors divide this painting in half. This is the fight between the light and darkness, between good and evil. The dark blue color stands for the evil, whereas the greyish-brown for good.

Somehow, when I've seen this painting, I thought straightaway about the 'Star Wars' saga. This fight, has roots, deeper than humanity itself.

We live in the world of contrasts and 'doubles'. Night and day, good and evil, black and white. Two sides of one.



We have seen many artworks inspired by the Belorussian and Jewish folklore, including those with famous cows.

I really cannot tell how many paintings include a cow or a goat. I'd say 80% of Chagall's paintings. I think it would be a nice entertainment for children to come with them and arouse their interest in doing 'the cow count' on the paintings :-)



Another painting - note the way Chagall signed this painting. He put the letters of his name in colors, that he used on his painting (green, blue and red). Moreover, he arranged his signature in a vertical way. Very unusal in comparison to standard horizontal signatures.



Here, we see the painting "Full Moon". I bet you have heard that during the full moon people are not at rest with themselves and strange things can happen.

Some research was made, that the biggest number of murders and other crimes are committed during the full moon. There must be something about it.

Notice how the man on Chagall's painting looks like. For me, he looks a bit crazy or scary. Maybe some subconscious instincts come to the surface during the full moon. The way the moon influences our behaviour and our minds is very interesting to look into. Just the way the stars and their wandering path on the skies has a hidden impact on our lives. If you're curious, have your date of birth analyzed by a numerologist. You will be amazed at the accuracy of the information pertaining to your personal life.



"The falling angel" is a sign of the apocalypse coming. Of the fight between the good and evil. The fight for our souls.

I love the way Chagall used color  - there's plenty of blue, red and green on his paintings.


His artwork is so different to any other painter, thus easily recognizable. He followed his own path, without copying Picasso, Modigliani or impressionists.


For those of you who would like to see Marc Chagall's colorful paintings I advise you to visit Paris, Nice, New York and Vitebsk.

Unfortunately, the exhibition in Basel came to an end. I was happy I was able to see it and be inspired to write about it.



Wishing you a great Sunday,



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