Exhibition – Marc Chagall
“My Russia will love me too”

Until March 14th the whimsical world of the artist Marc Chagall is in display in Italy’s Palazzo Roverella in Rovigo. Titled “My Russia will love me too”, the exhibition focuses on the origins of his unique style and the relationship to his Russian heritage. According to Chagall’s granddaughter Meret Meyer, the artist was deeply influenced by Russian art. “We are pushed to discover links that are suggested, without being able to confirm that Chagall was actually inspired by specific iconographies. But, of course, this is an artistic universe, the icons, the lubki (Russian woodblock prints), that all artists from the Russian avant-garde were soaked in the same way. Chagall then used them as vocabulary that he brought along with him and within him as if they were natural extensions of him like the paintbrush, like the color pallet”, she said.
The exhibition, curated by Claudia Zevi, includes bird maidens, or sirens from Russian mythology and folklore to give visitors a taste of the type of popular illustrations Chagall was exposed to and to highlight the symbolism of the paintings, which are deeply rooted in Jewish identity as Rav Scialom Bahbout highlights in the essay below.
“We saw the theme of the roosters, the rooster in the Russian culture is the one that marks dawn, the warrior”, explained Claudia Zevi. “But in the Jewish culture, it is the animal that is sacrificed the day before Yom Kippur, so the victim… There is also the pendulum, an object present in all the Jewish homes, but it is also an image that represents the apocalypse”, she said.
“We separated these elements and I believe the result is a new reading of his works that forces us to stop and look at each individual piece to look for specific elements rather than looking at pieces quickly, one after the other following chronological or historical guidelines,” Zevi said.