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Meditation and Atonement in the Art of Marc Chagall by David Lyle Jeffrey, Baylor University
Chagall’s crucifixion paintings, long a delicate subject among art historians, are best contextualized in the light of his life-long repatriation of Christian iconography to its Jewish foundation. Chagall reverses typological sequences familiar to Christians, so that instead of the Old Testament being seen as prefiguring the events of the Gospels, in his work the New Testament refers back to the Hebrew Scriptures in such a way as to illuminate the universal in Jewish experience. In Solitude (1933) and The Yellow Crucifixion (1943) we see how Chagall achieves a remarkable fusion of Jewish and Christian understandings of meditation and visual commentary on the Scriptures, prophetically calling both traditions to repentance and reconciliation. [DLJ]