Description of the picture:
Above Vitebsk – Mark Zagarovich Chagall. 1914. Oil on canvas, stretched on cardboard. 70.3 x 91
Vitebsk occupied a special place in the heart of the artist. Here is the birthplace of Marc Chagall, with this place he compared the numerous cities where the master lived. Confirmation of this is an open letter, which Chagall wrote in 1944, dedicated to Vitebsk. The artist, who has been living in America during these years, assures dear Vitebsk that only with thoughts of him did Chagall the Wanderer live and breathe all these years.
The painting “Above Vitebsk” is distinguished by its color and composition. There are no familiar metaphors and psychological subtexts. The work looks quite realistic – straight streets of the city, marked by snow, low houses with smooth roofs, neat fences. Only the Orthodox Church stands out against the backdrop of this verified landscape. Tall walls of bright yellow color, crowned with domes, make the viewer draw attention to themselves. And because of these walls we see the figure of a man – a long beard, a curved stick in his hands and a bag behind his back tell us that we are in front of a wanderer.
Critics often say that in this way Marc Chagall portrayed himself. He happened to live and work in different countries, therefore he is with a bag, but he has always been here with his thoughts, and therefore he hovers over the city. The picture, although made in bright colors, still allows you to feel the author’s longing for a distant homeland."