Like a Fairy Tale...

Defying identification with any painting school, Marc Chagall is the featured artist at the Pera Museum through 24 January.

Chagall was born in the Russian city of Vitebsk in 1887 and died in France in 1985. The exhibition, ‘Chagall: Life and Love’, comprises 160 of the artist’s prints, drawings and paintings from the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. More than enough to draw you into the vibrant world of his imagination. In addition to autobiographical drawings chronicling the artist’s life and love for his first wife, Bella, the exhibition also includes Biblical illustrations, as well as illustrations for literary works such as the fables of La Fontaine and Gogol’s ‘Dead Souls’. What’s more, Chagall’s grandson Meret Meyer will come to Istanbul in December to give a lecture on his grandfather’s life and works.
If you would like to see Chagall’s paintings, in which a happy man and happy woman fly into the sky hand in hand, as well as his goats, cows, fiddlers, roosters, grandfather clock, flying fish, Menorah, circus and trees, then head for the Pera Museum. Through January 24.

This is what Turkish photographer Ara Güler has to say about Chagall, who lived two years on the island of Büyükada in a wooden house whose windows looked out on the other Istanbul islands: “I heard it straight from the horse’s mouth, so it was true. Later I learned that when he was forced to migrate Chagall came to Istanbul and only settled in Paris some time later. Had he stayed on in Istanbul, he probably would not have become the Chagall we know. At most he might have become a friend of Nurullah Berk and Bedri Rahmi... Lighting up his unfiltered ‘Yenice’ brand Turkish cigarette every evening on the ferry back to the island and blowing the smoke over the Sea of Marmara.” (Nezih Tavlaş, Foto Muhabiri, p. 170)