Religion was central to Marc Chagall’s Hasidic Jewish upbringing, and he spent decades illustrating the Bible. Chagall’s elaborately conceived biblical works have been praised and highlighted by curators and museums alike. As the noted art historian, Meyer Shapiro once astutely noted, “If we had nothing of Chagall but his Bible, he would be for us a great modern artist.” Today, these historical works are regarded as some of the most important of Chagall’s entire career. Chagall skillfully and carefully illustrated important biblical moments and his beautiful artwork coveys his deep love of the Jewish message and experience.
Paradise is Marc Chagall’s artistic depiction of Genesis 1:30 which reads, “And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to everything that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food; and it was so”. Chagall beautifully depicts the entirety of this verse, in this broadly colored lithograph. Adam and Eve are depicted joined as one, as they are featured below the greenery and seen enjoying the food God has provided. Above the earthly greenery, the birds soar down toward the same feast, as both are able to share the wide bounty of provisions in the form of the green vegetation, which God has so lovingly provided for them to enjoy freely. At the point of the initial creation of man, it was God’s intent that man and beast alike, eat only the green plants of the earth and the bounty was great and left both living creatures satisfied. Only later, after man had sinned and left the Garden of Eden did he become desirous of eating meat. In the moment that this image recreates there is perfect peace and harmony between all living creatures, a true paradise on earth.
- Artist: Marc Chagall
- Year: 1960
- Size: 29" x 35" Framed
- Medium: Lithograph
- Edition: From the Edition of 50