Jane Fritz gives insight into the history behind Ukraine’s current suffering, with some superb Chagall paintings included.
When we think of paintings by the famous French painter Mark Chagall (actually Russian-French), we typically think of his dreamlike themes and brilliant use of colour. Always imaginative. Often free-floating.
But he also painted powerful paintings that didn’t dance and weren’t dreamlike. Powerful, yes, but free-floating, no. One such powerful painting has been posted many times on social media recently, and appropriately so. It’s entitled La Famille Ukrainienne. The Ukrainian Family.
Only, of course, Chagall didn’t paint this work of art in the past 6 weeks, since the Russians invaded Ukraine and started unleashing such devastation, brutality, and death. He painted it sometime between 1940 and 1943, when Ukrainians were fleeing the war and destruction brought about by another Russian, Stalin’s “Great Terror”. It is uncanny – and heartbreaking – to realize that this scene could just as easily be depicting what is going on right now, 80 years…
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