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Twelve Tribes(545 views)
Series of Lithographs by Marc Chagall depicting the Twelve Tribes of Isreal. 20-color stone lithograph by Charles Sorlier after Chagall's final model for the Jerusalem Windows, 1962. Printed by Mourlot Freres (Paris) and published by Andre Sauret Editeur, Monte Carlo. Edition unknown. Image size: 296x215mm.
The sequence that follows illustrates the windows (which figure the twelve sons of Jacob who became the heads of the Twelve Tribes of Israel) in the order in which Jacob describes his sons in Genesis 49 (see below for full passages): "All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, blessing each one of them with a suitable blessing" (Gen. 49:28). Image of all tweleve lithographs in different order than listed below; Individual image listed in correct order:
Reuben. Then Jacob called his sons, and said: “Gather around, that I may tell you what will happen to you in days to come. Assemble and hear, O sons of Jacob; listen to Israel your father. Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might and the first fruits of my vigor, excelling in rank and excelling in power. Unstable as water, you shall no longer excel because you went up onto your father’s bed; then you defiled it—you went up onto my couch! (Gen. 49:1-4)
Simeon. Simeon and Levi are brothers; weapons of violence are their swords. May I never come into their council; may I not be joined to their company–for in their anger they killed men, and at their whim they hamstrung oxen. Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce, and their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel. (Gen. 49:5-7)
Levi. Simeon and Levi are brothers; weapons of violence are their swords. May I never come into their council; may I not be joined to their company–for in their anger they killed men, and at their whim they hamstrung oxen. Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce, and their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel. (Gen. 49:5-7)
Judah. Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons shall bow down before you. Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He crouches down, he stretches out like a lion, like a lioness—who dares rouse him up? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him and the obedience of the peoples is his. Binding his foal to the vine and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, he washes his garments in wine and his robe in the blood of grapes; his eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth whiter than milk. (Gen. 49:8-12)
Zebulun. Zebulun shall settle at the shore of the sea; he shall be a haven for ships, and his border shall be at Sidon. (Gen. 49:13)
Issachar. Issachar is a strong donkey, lying down between the sheepfolds; he saw that a resting place was good, and that the land was pleasant; so he bowed his shoulder to the burden, and became a slave at forced labor. (Gen. 49:14-15)
Dan. Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a snake by the roadside, a viper along the path, that bites the horse’s heels so that its rider falls backward. I wait for your salvation, O LORD. (Gen. 49:16-18)
Gad. Gad shall be raided by raiders, but he shall raid at their heels. (Gen. 49: 19)
Ascher. Ascher’s food shall be rich, and he shall provide royal delicacies. (Gen. 49:20)
Naphtali. Naphtali is a doe let loose that bears lovely fawns. Gen. 49:21)
Joseph. Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a spring; his branches run over the wall. The archers fiercely attacked him; they shot at him and pressed him hard. Yet his bow remained taut, and his arms were made agile by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, by the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, by the God of your father, who will help you, by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb. The blessings of your father are stronger than the blessings of the eternal mountains, the bounties of the everlasting hills; may they be on the head of Joseph, on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers. (Gen. 49:22-26)
Benjamin. Benjamin is a ravenous wolf, in the morning devouring the prey, and at evening dividing the spoil.” (Gen. 49:27)
About The Framing:
6 July 1887 - 28 March 1985
Marc Chagall was a Russian-French artist. An early modernist, he was associated with several major artistic styles and created works in virtually every artistic medium, including painting, book illustrations, stained glass, stage sets, ceramic, tapestries and fine art prints.
Art critic Robert Hughes referred to Chagall as the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century (though Chagall saw his work as not the dream of one people but of all humanity). According to art historian Michael J. Lewis, Chagall was considered to be the last survivor of the first generation of European modernist's. For decades, he had also been respected as the world's preeminent Jewish artist. Using the medium of stained glass, he produced windows for the cathedrals of Reims and Metz, windows for the United Nations, and the Jerusalem Windows in Israel. He also did large-scale paintings, including part of the ceiling of the Paris Opra.
Before World War I, he traveled between St. Petersburg, Paris, and Berlin. During this period he created his own mixture and style of modern art based on his idea of Eastern European Jewish folk culture. He spent the wartime years in Soviet Belarus, becoming one of the country's most distinguished artists and a member of the modernist avant-garde, founding the Vitebsk Arts College before leaving again for Paris in 1922.
He had two basic reputations, writes Lewis: as a pioneer of modernism and as a major Jewish artist. He experienced modernism's Golden Age in Paris, where he synthesized the art forms of Cubism, Symbolism, and Fauvism, and the influence of Fauvism gave rise to Surrealism. Yet throughout these phases of his style he remained most emphatically a Jewish artist, whose work was one long dreamy reverie of life in his native village of Vitebsk. When Matisse dies, Pablo Picasso remarked in the 1950s, Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what color really is.
Provenance: Elliott Gallery, New Orleans
Dimensions: 13" x 9.5"
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