The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Monday, March 30, 2015

Marc Chagall's Illustrations for Gogol's "Dead Souls" on View at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art
Marc Chagall, "Chichikov and Sobakevich after Dinner" illustration for Nikolai Gogol Dead Souls, 1923-1927. Etching, 21x27.5 cm, Collection Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

By: Alisa Padovano-Friedman

TEL AVIV.- In the spring of 1931, Marc Chagall set sail for a visit in Eretz-Israel. He had been invited by Tel Aviv Mayor Meir Dizengoff, following their acquaintance in Paris in 1930. Chagall was taken with Dizengoff's passion to establish a museum in the emerging Jewish city, and agreed to join the Paris Committee set up to promote the project. Chagall brought a gift, his series of prints illustrating Nikolai Gogol's novel Dead Souls. The series was personally dedicated to Dizengoff, and was intended to enrich the collection of the museum, due to open in 1932.

At the center of Gogol's "Human Comedy" Dead Souls is the character of Chichikov, a charming, shrewd scoundrel, who buys from landowners dead serfs whose names have not yet been taken off the official census, that is, the "dead souls" that must be disposed of in order to avoid paying serf tax for them. Chichikov intends to present these souls as living persons, "deposit" them as collateral against a bank loan, settle in a far province and establish himself as a respectable country gentleman. Through Chichikov's journey the reader is exposed to Russia's people and social classes: the lazy, greedy landowners; the power-hungry, honor-craving bureaucrats; the destitute serfs who are nothing but their masters' chattel – in life as well as after death. They are all described by Gogol – and illustrated by Chagall – with exaggeration, as a larger-than-life yet compassionate grotesquerie.

Gogol wrote Dead Souls, a penetrating yet affectionate novel, in 1842 while far from Russia, in Rome, and that Chagall, too, made his witty prints when he was far from Russia, in Paris. The satirical prints are characterized by an acerbity that at times verges on cruelty, and are reminiscent of the work of expressionist artist Georg Grosz, whom Chagall had known in Berlin. Distorted, diagonal scenes and a top angle view evoke a sense of movement and instability. This arrangement of form and space, so typical of Chagall, appears in this series for the first time.

Tel Aviv Museum of Art | Marc Chagall | Meir Dizengoff | Nikolai Gogol |

Today's News

January 20, 2010

Royal Academy of Arts Stages a Landmark Exhibition of the Work of Vincent van Gogh

Major Works by Klein, Doig, Kippenberger and Auerbach Lead Christie's Auction

Romare Bearden's The Block and Related Drawings On View at the Metropolitan

Major Works by Doig, Freud, Richter, Fontana and Ofili Lead Sotheby's Sale

Explosive Works by German Artist Martin Denker at Bruce Silverstein

Rediscovered Self-Portrait by Lucian Freud to be Sold at Sotheby's

Ernesto Neto's "Navedenga" on View for the First Time at MoMA

Prominent Dealers Bring Art World to Second Annual Dallas Art Fair

Christie's Strengthens Asia Management Lineup with New Appointments

Exhibition of Interactive Work by Artist Jeppe Hein Announced in Indianapolis

Solo Exhibition by New York-Based Artist Hugo Markl at Galerie Eva Presenhuber

Sotheby's to Offer the James S. Copley Library's Original Manuscripts

Fiona Banner will Create the Tate Britain Duveens Commission 2010

Alan Cristea Gallery Announces First Major Retrospective of Bauhaus Artist Anni Albers

Fine English & Continental Furniture, Silver & Decorative Arts for Sale at Freeman's

MFAH Awarded Grant from NHPRC to Establish Electronic Records Archive

Marc Chagall's Illustrations for Gogol's "Dead Souls" on View at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Crystal Bridges Acquires New Work by Walton Ford

Berlin Jewish Museum Gets Libeskind Extension

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Alan Bean's Apollo 12 space memorabilia for auction at Bonhams' annual Space History sale

2.- Former electrician who hid 271 Picasso works found guilty of possessing stolen goods

3.- Museo del Prado brings together for the first time four masterpieces by Van der Weyden

4.- Study by Mexican anthropologist says elites' clash led to Teotihuacan collapse

5.- Classical realist painter Jenness Cortez re-imagines Leonardo's 'Mona Lisa'

6.- National Gallery of Art reunites Rubens' Three Magi for the first time in a century

7.- Adolf Hitler 1912 watercolor still life painting to be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions

8.- Curator at Croatia's Natural History Museum finds Neanderthals were world's first jewellers

9.- 17 tourists killed and 42 wounded as gunmen attack Tunisia's National Bardo Museum

10.- Anish Kapoor presents a series of giant and wildly expressive resin and silicon works

Related Stories

The Helene and Zygfryd Wolloch Collection of Modern Sculpture Donated to Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Tel Aviv Museum of Art Presents an Exhibition of Works by Moshe Gershuni

"Sam Havadtoy: Beauty is Mystery", New Exhibition Opens at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Tel Aviv Museum of Art Pays Homage to Avigdor Arikha with Exhibition

Tel Aviv Museum of Art Pays Homage to Avigdor Arikha with Exhibition

Meeting Points: Ronit Agassi, Gary Goldstein at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Cabinet Secrets: Exhibition of Prints and Drawings at Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Cabinet Secrets: Exhibition of Prints and Drawings at Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Creating Equilibrium between Self and World: Maia Zer's Landscape Paintings and Portraits

Tel Aviv Museum of Art Shows Works by Photographer David LaChapelle

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site