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The Musician (Le Musicien)

Marc Chagall

European Art

The Musician evokes the spiritual significance of music for Marc Chagall and his memories of growing up in a Russian Jewish household in Vitebsk, in present-day Belarus, listening to his uncle play the fiddle. He painted the work in Paris, where he had arrived in 1910 and quickly been catalyzed by the avant-garde pictorial vocabulary of vibrant color and flattened space.

Chagall—along with Chana Orloff, Chaim Soutine, and Ossip Zadkine, whose works can be seen nearby—was one of many Jewish Eastern European artists drawn to Paris in the first two decades of the twentieth century. Although many found acceptance and success, by the 1920s their status as “outsiders” and pervasive anti-Semitism and xenophobia led a number of critics to apply the term School of Paris to these artists to distinguish them from the French-born Christian painters of the School of France.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
  • Place Made: Europe
  • DATES ca. 1912–1914
    DIMENSIONS 9 3/8 x 5 3/8 in. (23.8 x 13.7 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed lower left: "Chagall/Marc"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    ACCESSION NUMBER 1992.107.3
    CREDIT LINE Bequest of William K. Jacobs, Jr.
    PROVENANCE Prior to 1956, provenance not yet documented; before 1956, acquired by Émilie Charaire Milinaire (Mme. Lucien Milinaire) of Paris, France; before 1956, purchased from Émilie Charaire Milinaire by Paul Martin of Paris, France; by September 26, 1963 acquired from Paul Martin by Hirschl and Adler, New York, NY; November 22, 1963, purchased from Hirschl and Adler by William K. Jacobs of New York, NY; 1992, gift of William K. Jacobs, Jr., to the Brooklyn Museum.
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    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Marc Chagall (Vitebsk, present–day Belarus (former Russian Empire), 1887 – 1985, Saint–Paul–de–Vence, France). The Musician (Le Musicien), ca. 1912–1914. Oil on canvas, 9 3/8 x 5 3/8 in. (23.8 x 13.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of William K. Jacobs, Jr., 1992.107.3. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1992.107.3_PS9.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 1992.107.3_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT © artist or artist's estate
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