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The Iconography Of The Holy Family In Chagall'S 1909–1910 Works

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Chapter Summary

By the second half of the 19th century, a number of Jewish artists had already studied in European art academies, from Rome and Munich to Krakow and St. Petersburg. While increasingly aware of their own Jewish identity, these artists had to focus during their art studies primarily on the classical and Christian models present in European fine art through the centuries. Marc Chagall, a member of the third generation of Russian Jewish artists, in late 1909 and 1910 created several striking works which comment on the subject of the Holy Family from a Jewish point of view. Chagalls drawing shows that he was quite familiar with the iconography of the Christian scene depicting the Presentation in the Temple, also called The Candlemas Day, showing St. Simeon as the High Priest.

Keywords: Christian iconography; European fine art; Holy Family; Jewish identity; Marc Chagall; Russian Jewish artists



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