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Marc Chagall: Jerusalem Window Lithographs
In 1960, the Russian artist Marc Chagall (1887 – 1985) began creating a series of 12 stained glass windows for the synagogue of Hebrew University’s Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. The windows symbolized the 12 tribes of Israel who were blessed by Jacob and Moses in the verses that conclude Genesis and Deuteronomy. Chagall envisaged the windows as “jewels of translucent fire,” aided in part by a special process his assistant developed for applying color to the glass that allowed Chagall to use as many as three colors on a single pane, rather than using the traditional technique of separating each colored pane by a lead strip.
The suite of 12 color lithographs featured in this exhibition were made by the artist's master printmaker, Charles Sorlier, in close consultation with Chagall, and based on Chagall's own sketches and designs for the Jerusalem Window series. They echoes his original designs and brilliant use of color, and remains populated with the same blend of real and imaginary creatures and biblical verses that celebrate Chagall’s deep sense of identification with his Jewish heritage.
Marc Chagall: Jerusalem Window Lithographs was on view in the South Gallery of the museum's lower level, from November 29 - February 23, 2014.