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Chagall (Big Art) Hardcover – February 1, 1998

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Hardcover, February 1, 1998
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Editorial Reviews Review

Henry Miller once described Marc Chagall as a "poet with the wings of a painter." The pages of Chagall are filled with images that prove the writer's words true. Though Chagall is remembered primarily as a painter, his artistic vision expressed itself in many other forms, including sculpture, mosaics, and the stained glass windows that grace the Art Institute of Chicago as well as synagogues and churches in both Europe and the United States. The volume affords readers glimpses of his profligate work as well as the opportunity to follow Chagall as he moved from his early years in Russia to Paris, the United States, and back to France. During that time, his painting flirted with the various art movements around him--surrealism and fauvism most notably--but his dominant themes remained constant throughout the seven decades that he made art. Chagall's mysticism, his deep religious sentiment, and his playfulness are revealed in the hundreds of full-color images lushly reproduced in this volume. The commentary provided by Chagall scholar and friend Jacob Baal-Teshuva expertly guides readers through the artist's various moods and media and underscores the passion of belief and feeling that informed all of his artwork.

From Library Journal

A time traveler who left an ancient way of life in a remote Russian village for the sophisticated world of 20th-century Paris and its inner circle of literary and artistic innovators, Marc Chagall (1887-1985) superseded nature through metaphor. He reinvented his past and his dreams over and over as a chronicler of the Jewish experience. Baal-Teshuva, whose previous works include a monograph on Warhol (Andy Warhol 1928-1987, LJ 4/1/93), affectionately conveys the details of the artist's life, his roots in Vitebsk, his lovers, and his many works?in paint, poetry, lithography, ceramics, tapestry, mosaics, sculpture, and stained glass?with the intimacy and naturalness of a friend of 35 years. Written in clear, accessible prose and lavishly illustrated with reproductions that demonstrate the brilliant colors of the artist's palate, this book is an excellent choice as an introductory text for students. Recommended for school and public libraries where there is an interest in this extremely popular 20th-century artist as well as for Judaica and comprehensive special collections.?Ellen Bates, MLS, New York
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Series: Big Art
  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Taschen; Not Indicated edition (February 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3822882712
  • ISBN-13: 978-3822882719
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 1.1 x 12.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,037,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Peter on December 9, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is an extraordinary book for every Chagall fan. The quality of illustrations is just wonderful, and if you had only one book to buy on Chagall, this is the one! Don't worry, its not heavy at all; in fact, I would have added more and more pages of never-been-seen work of this incredible artist. The illustrations are colorful, vivid and beautiful, and the biography is very well written and complete. Strongly recommended!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Debbie the Book Devourer on March 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book collects some of Chagall's works, mostly paintings, but also mosaics, stained glass windows, and the ceiling of the Paris opera (stunning), into sections describing different parts of his life and career.

The text was intersting and illuminating in very few words, which was good, because that left more room for full-color plates of Chagall's brilliant works! I could just stare at each one for many minutes and get more out of it with each minute! The man was a genius. And the plates are pretty high-quality, so it's easy to really enjoy them.

The only reason I did not give this book five stars was I thought it was a little short, considering the scope of Chagall's work. It would be difficult, indeed, to produce a book that would be completely comprehensive, and maybe the author had a page limitation because of the series he was writing for, but I sure would have liked to see more works presented.

I have some other books on Chagall in the queue: one on watercolors and gouaches, and two books of lithographs. I'll report back on those once I've read and gazed at them.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K. Pollock VINE VOICE on October 28, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After viewing the book I ordered for my husband, he and I loved it so much, I ordered another for my sister-in-law who also absolutely loved the pictures and stories about one of our favorite artists. It makes a great gift for any Chagall fan.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Make sure you get the book by Jacob Baal-Teshuva (279 pages) and not the much shorter book with the same cover by Ingo Walther (96 pages).

Also I recommend getting the book NEW at full price (very cheap! only $13.49 for a fabulous full color hardback book) rather than risking purchasing used copies that may not be the right edition.

This is a really beautiful collection of Chagall's work from his early days forward. The quality of the reproductions is dazzling with full page reproductions on large pages. For Chagall lovers, this book can't be beat.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Hochmann on October 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is an absolutely gorgeous book from the inside out. You really need a coffee table-sized book like this in order to capture the vivid colors and subtle details in Chagall's works, and Taschen has succeeded brilliantly with their presentation here.

Author Jacob Baal-Teshuva did a wonderful job in surveying Chagall's life, interspersing passages from Chagall's autobiography (/My Life/) and Bella Chagall's book, /First Encounter/. As you'd expect, Chagall's life and works are presented in chronological order. Welcome additions include an entire chapter on Chagall's works in other media such as sculptures and ceramics, as well as a compact chronological review of major events in his life.

This SHOULD be a five-star review, except for two glaring omissions: there's no index of keywords or subjects, and worse still, no index of the artworks depicted in the book. Your only mechanism for finding a specific painting is to Google for it, find out what year it was painted, then flip to that time period in the book and HOPE that the painting is actually in there.

It absolutely boggles the mind that someone would lovingly put together some 280 pages of paintings and photos, yet fail to include any way for readers to actually FIND a specific work in the book. If it weren't for the otherwise gorgeous presentation of Chagall's art and the enjoyable text, I'd knock off a lot more than one star for this shortcoming.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Golden on November 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book contains a very representative sample of Chagall's spanning his long and productive life. The illustrations accurately depict this wonderful painter's vivid palate and subject matter that can be whimsical, deeply romantic and profoundly spiritual. Chagall is one of a relatively small number of artists whose work is appreciated by people regardless of their level of visual arts knowledge. His paintings are truly timeless, having lost none of their ability to intrigue and delight viewers.

Author Jacob Baal-Teshuva delivers a very readable and informative narrative about Chagall’s studio production and personal life. He avoids pretentious art-speak while also maintaining a high level of discourse, an approach that I suspect Chagall would appreciate.

This book will leave the reader with a very complete sense of the enormous energy that fills Chagall’s work, regardless of the media, and will do so very economically. I was extremely pleased by the high quality this book offers for such a bargain price. It exceeded my expectations.
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