I love this painting – Marc Chagall‘s Waiting. The painting is owned by the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, KY. Several years ago my friend and I were admiring the painting and she indicated this was one of her favorites. I have to admit at that time I didn’t have a favorite Chagall and I had never read anything about his work. My great friend moved away and I miss having her and her observations on art. I remembered some of the painting, but couldn’t recall the title so I emailed her and she found it! I don’t know why, but her finding the painting and knowing the title made a big difference to me. I think it makes me feel like my friend is closer – not all the way in Texas. Here’s to Candyce!
For some reason my mind works in strange and mysterious ways and after she emailed me the title of the painting the song The Waiting by Tom Petty came to mind and would not leave. I have this type of thing happen all the time. I will be thinking about something without even knowing it and will realize a song lodged in my head and sure enough the song has something to do with some current circumstance I’m going through.
Right now I think I am in a season of waiting. Waiting and wondering what it is I’m supposed to do.
Let’s listen to Tom Petty for a spell. Okay – that’s better.
Now for some history on Marc Chagall and this beautifully, unusual painting:
As many of you may know, Chagall used many symbols in his paintings. Many of his works have roosters which symbolized fertility; as many of his paintings were about or pertaining to lovers. Marc Chagall was a Russian painter whose work stretched many different mediums. Chagall created works in nearly every artistic medium, including painting, book illustrations, stained glass, stage sets, ceramic, tapestries and fine art prints. Here is a list of symbols and their supposed meanings. Take what you want from this, but it’s kind of fun to look at his paintings with the symbol meanings close at hand.
- Cow: life par excellence – milk, meat, leather, horn, power.
- Tree: another symbol of life.
- Rooster: fertility, often painted together with lovers.
- Bosom: fertility of life – Chagall had great respect for Women and it is shown in his art.
- Fiddler: In Chagall’s village Vitebsk the fiddler made music at major events such as weddings and holidays.
- Herring – a flying fish: Commemorates Chagall’s father who worked in a fish factory.
- Pendulum Clock: time, and modest life.
- Candlestick: two candles symbolize the Shabbat and the life of devout Jews.
- Windows: Chagall’s Love of Freedom.
- Houses of Vitebsk: Feelings for his homeland as most of these paintings were done during his years in Paris.
- Scenes of the Circus: Creativity and Joy.
- Horses: Freedom.
- The Eiffel Tower: Up in the sky, another symbolic metaphor for freedom.
Candyce is still in Texas, but thanks to Chagall’s Waiting, we have been brought a little closer. It’s true what Tom Petty says in his song, “the waiting is the hardest part.” We will once again stroll through an art museum together, but for now we will have to be patient and use the technology at our fingertips. We can share art online perhaps and, of course, wait.
Until next time. Be patient and please wait.