Chagall, Marc (ON HOLD)


Lovely 1969 Israeli King David stamp FDC signed by the renowned artist whose work is depicted on the stamp!


Type: Signed First Day Cover
Description: (b. Moishe Shagal, 1887-1985) Belarusian-French Jewish artist, early modernist. He was associated with several major artistic styles and created works in a wide range of artistic formats, incl. painting, drawings, book illustrations, stained glass, stage sets, tapestries, ceramics and fine art prints.

Born in Lithuania (modern-day Belarus, then part of the Russian Empire) before WW I, he travelled between St. Petersburg, Paris and Berlin and created his own mixture and style of modern art based on his idea of Eastern Europe and Jewish folk culture. He spent the WW I years in Belarus, becoming one of the country’s most distinguished artists and a member of the modernist avant-garde, founding the Vibetsk Arts College before leaving again for Paris in 1923.

Art critics and historians referred to him as “the quintessential Jewish artist of the 20th century”. “the last survivor of the 1st generation of European modernists” and, for decades, he “had also been respected as the world’s pre-eminent Jewish artist”. Using stained glass, he produced windows for the cathedrals of Reims and Metz, the United Nations, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Jerusalem Windows in Israel. He also did large-scale paintings, including part of the ceiling of the Paris Opera .

He experienced modernism’s “golden age” in Paris, where “he synthesized the art forms of Cubism, Symbolism, and Fauvism and the influence of Fauvism gave rise to Surrealism” said one art historian. Yet throughout these phases of his style “he remained most emphatically a Jewish artist, whose work was one long dreamy reverie of life in his native village of Vitebsk.

Chagall was saved by having his name added to the list of prominent artists whose lives were at risk and who the US should try to extricate. US journalist Varian Fry and US Vice-Consul in Marseilles, Hiram Bingham IV , ran a rescue operation to smuggle artists and intellectuals out of Europe to the US by providing them with forged visas to the US. In April 1941, Chagall and his wife were stripped of their French citizenship. The Chagalls were arrested with other Jews. Varian Fry pressured French police to release him, threatening them with scandal. Chagall was one of over 2,000 rescued by this operation. He left France May 1941, he and his wife arrived in New York the day after Germany invaded the USSR.

Pierre Matisse, son of French artist Henri Matisse, became his representative and managed Chagall exhibitions in New York and Chicago in 1941. He returned to France in 1948. After the war, he saw for himself the destruction in Europe and the Jewish populations. In 1951, as part of a memorial book dedicated to 84 Jewish artists killed by the Nazis in France, he wrote a poem entitled “For the Slaughtered Artists: 1950”, which inspired paintings such as the Song of David.  In 1963 France issued a stamp of his painting, The Married Couple of the Eiffel Tower. In 1969, Israel produced a stamp depicting his King David painting. In 1973 Israel released a 12-stamp set with images of the stained-glass windows that he created for the Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center Synagogue; each window made to signify one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.

4 x 7 colorful Israeli 3p King David stamp (by Chagall) cacheted First Day Cover, postmarked Jerusalem, Sept. 24, 1969 with copy of King David playing the lyre, as on the stamp, as the cachet, signed by Chagall with black crayon. FRAMEABLE!!!

Condition: Very good

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