Meeting of Jacob and Rachel


Marc Chagall, Meeting of Jacob and Rachel, 1957, Hand-colored etching, Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee.

In 1931 Chagall was asked by a Parisian art dealer and publisher to do a series of etching on the Bible. Born in Belarus, Chagall now lived in Paris with his wife and daughter where he was involved with a group of artists and collectors interested in defining a contemporary Jewish art. In the previous year the mayor of Tel Aviv invited Chagall to come to Palestine for the Purim festival and the laying of the foundation stone of the Tel Aviv Museum. He made several trips to Palestine and then Israel for this project that he completed in 1957. The Bible series is a collection of 105 hand-colored etchings depicting scenes from the Old Testament. His poetic style merges the ancient biblical stories with his own memories of pre-war Hasidic life in Belarus.