Chagall (1887-1985) was a pioneer of modernism whose works are quintessentially Jewish. Born in Russia, he spent most of his life in France and his works reflect a merging of his Jewish heritage, his Russian background and the influence of the modern artistic trends he encountered while living in Paris.
The painting, “La Revolution,” shows elements of the Russian war of 1917 together with the Spanish war of 1936-37. Many of Chagall’s recognizable trademarks such as the married couple and the goat are evident in this piece.
Recent research suggests “La Revolution” was painted in 1968, not 1937 as originally thought, due to similarities in the characters, color and composition with works of that time, such as “La Guerre” (1966).
Chagall cherished “La Revolution” and kept it in his house in Saint-Paul de Vence, France, until his death in 1985. The painting was never exhibited or shown to the public during his lifetime.