2 of 2 portraits of Marc Chagall
by Ida Kar
2 1/4 inch square film negative, 1954
Artistback to top
- Ida Kar (1908-1974), Photographer. Artist or producer associated with 1565 portraits, Sitter in 137 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This photograph of Chagall was used on the private view card of Kar's 1954 exhibition at Gallery One, London.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Freestone, Clare (appreciation) Wright, Karen (appreciation), Ida Kar Bohemian Photographer, 2011 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 10 March to 19 June 2011), p. 71 Read entry
Chagall was born in Vitebsk, Russia, into an observant Jewish family. In 1907 he moved to St Petersburg, where he studied painting for three years, eventually under the tutelage of the stage designer Leon Bakst. In 1910 Chagall moved to Paris, settling in the bohemian colony La Ruche (The Beehive). There he met avant-garde poets including Blaise Cendrars and Guillaume Apollinaire and young artists such as Robert Delaunay and Fernand Léger. In 1911 he exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Indépendants, and in 1914 had his first one-man exhibition in Berlin before returning to Russia. Chagall's work presented dreamlike subject matter in rich colours, and his imagery, drawn partly from memories of his early years, included flying lovers, fantastic animals, biblical prophets and fiddlers on roofs. After the Russian Revolution he was appointed commissar for art in the province of Vitebsk and directed an art academy. In 1923 Chagall settled again in Paris, this time with his wife and daughter. His autobiography Ma Vie was published in 1930. Chagall was a prolific painter and also worked as book illustrator, designer of stained glass and mosaics, and did sets and costumes for ballet and opera productions. This photograph of Chagall was used to advertise Kar's 1954 exhibition at Gallery One in London.
Events of 1954back to top
Current affairsRoger Bannister runs the four-minute mile. Bannister was the first man to achieve the 'miracle mile', a feat that was thought by some to be impossible, beating his rival, the Australian John Landy, to the record. Bannister went on to a career as a distinguished neurologist.
Food rationing ends in Britain.
Art and scienceJ.R.R. Tolkien publishes the first two parts of the Lord of the Rings trilogy: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. Tolkien was an Oxford professor of Anglo-Saxon language and literature and drew on his scholarly interests in history, language and mythology to create the fictional land of Middle Earth where the books are set.
Williams Golding publishes, Lord of the Flies.
InternationalThe South East Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO) is established in Bangkok. This international defence organisation was established as part of the 'containment' policy of limiting the influence of communism. SEATO was, however, found to be ineffective as the member organisations failed to agree on combined action; it was disbanded in 1977.
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