Midsummer Night's Dream 1939 by Marc Chagall
For a very long time, Marc Chagall would remain attached to his country of origin, Russia, and even if he spent the bulk of his life in France, first in Paris and then in Vence, in the south, he would return 'home' and carry out official functions between 1914 and 1922. Among the bodies of work of the Ecole de Paris artists, Chagall's art remains imbued with a very personal philosophy and poetic force. The observation of day-to-day reality through the prism of Fauve and Cubist influences combined is conveyed by a "total lyrical explosion", to borrow Andre Breton's expression.
Chagall evolves from his inner reality towards a world encompassing figures which sidestep any verisimilitude, as for example in Midsummer Night's Dream. Painted during the artist's Parisian period, the theme of this picture is comedy of William Shakespeare, which the painter situated in a dream-like forest inhabited by sylphs and lovers. The bewitched queen of the fairies, Titania, falls for a donkey-headed weaver, Bottom. The woman clad in a white wedding gown and a veil recurs in almost identical form in several pictures from that period, sometimes with the same blue fan. Winged beings and violinists are also often depicted.