Saturday, September 5, 2009

Marc Chagall

One of my favourite artists, Marc Chagall, was coincidentally also a beret wearer. Finding a picture of him, with a beret, was very difficult though.
There is a painting from his early years, 'Self Portrait with Brushes' (1909-10)

but otherwise all beret related information is anecdotal.
Like this story, that appreared in the Smithsonian(December, 2003):

David McNeil fondly remembers the day in the early 1960s his father took him to a little bistro on Paris’ Île St. Louis, the kind of place where they scrawl the menu in white letters on the mirror behind the bar, and masons, house painters, plumbers and other workingmen down hearty lunches along with vin ordinaire. Wearing a beret, a battered jacket and a coarse, checkered shirt, his father— then in his mid-70s—fit in perfectly. With conversation flowing easily among the close-set tables, one of the patrons looked over at the muscular, paint-splotched hands of the man in the beret. “Working on a place around here?” he asked companionably. “Yeah,” replied McNeil’s father, the artist Marc Chagall, as he tucked into his appetizer of hard-boiled egg and mayonnaise. “I’m redoing a ceiling over at the Opéra.”Read more

I managed to find only one photograph and, on second thoughts, I don't even think he is wearing a beret here. His first wife, Belle, certainly does.

The picture must have been taken in the early 1930's, shortly after the publication of Ma Vie ('My Life'), Chagall's autobiography that was published in 1931.

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