Chagall’s wisdom


In our life there is a single color, as on an artist’s palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love. All colors are the friends of their neighbors and the lovers of their opposites.

When I am finishing a picture I hold some God-made object up to it / a rock, a flower, the branch of a tree or my hand / as a kind of final test. If the painting stands up beside a thing man cannot make, the painting is authentic. If there’s a clash between the two, it is bad art.

If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing. Will God or someone else give me the strength to breathe the breath of prayer and mourning into my paintings, the breath of prayer for redemption and resurrection?

The dignity of the artist lies in his duty of keeping awake the sense of wonder in the world. In this long vigil he often has to vary his methods of stimulation; but in this long vigil he is also himself striving against a continual tendency to sleep.

Only love interests me, and I am only in contact with things that revolve around love.

Marc Chagall (July 1887 – March 1985) was a Russian artist of a devout Jewish family, born in Vitebsk.