The return to Russia (1914-1922)

Having returned to Vitebsk to marry Bella, Chagall was no longer able to return to Paris due to the outbreak of the First World War. His birthplace, family home and his Jewish origins were the subjects that now appeared in his paintings, reinterpreted through his Paris experience. However, the prevalent image was that of Bella, often represented in works featuring pairs of lovers.

  • The Birthday. Oil on cardboard, 1915. Museum of Modern Art, New York

  • Over Vitebsk. Oil on paper mounted on canvas, ca. 1914. Collection Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. Gift of Sam and Ayala Zacks, 1970

  • David. Oil on paper pasted on cardboard, 1914. Private Collection

  • The Lovers in Blue. Tempera and paper pasted on cardboard, 1914. Private Collection

  • Jew in Red. Oil on canvas, 1915. State Russian Museum, Saint-Petersburg

  • The Promenade. Oil on canvas, 1917-1918. State Russian Museum, Saint-Petersburg