on December 9, 1999
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!
on November 14, 2013
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.
on March 31, 2005
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.
on October 24, 2014
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.