Marc Chagall, French (born Russia)
Oil on canvas
77 1/8 x 57 inches (195.9 x 144.8 cm)
The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950
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La RucheMarc Chagall arrived in Paris in May 1911 and for the next four years lived and worked at a studio complex called the La Ruche (the beehive), so named because of its distinctive cylindrical shape and honeycomb-like maze of artists’ studios. Located on the southwestern fringes of Montparnasse, La Ruche was a three-story-high building with a central staircase and studios radiating out from its core. La Ruche opened in 1902 and, since the rent was minimal and artists’ models were supplied free of charge, it quickly became a thriving artists’ community, with its own theater and exhibition schedule. By the time Chagall moved there, La Ruche had a large population of Eastern European artists who had moved to Paris to discover the most recent trends in modern art. Among the other artists to live or frequent La Ruche between 1910 and 1914 were Alexander Archipenko, Moïse Kisling, Moïse Kogan, Jacques Lipchitz, Chaim Soutine, and Ossip Zadkine. Many of these émigré artists were also attracted to the religious tolerance of Paris, which provided a relatively safe new working environment free from the pogroms and persecution that their Jewish families had endured for generations in their former homelands of Russia, Poland, and other Eastern European countries. The French artist Fernand Léger also worked at La Ruche during this time, as did the Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani, whose libertine behavior made him one of the most colorful personalities of this bohemian enclave.
Jacques Lipchitz, American (born Lithuania)
Opaque watercolor, crayon and fabricated chalks (pastel) on thin paper on gray board
Sheet: 8 11/16 x 6 1/4 inches (22.1 x 15.9 cm)
A. E. Gallatin Collection, 1952
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