Culture Beat: Chagall exhibition held at 798 Art Zone
Published: May 21, 2023 10:38 PM
Promotional material for the exhibition Photo: Courtesy of ICI LABAS Art Gallery

Promotional material for the exhibition Photo: Courtesy of ICI LABAS Art Gallery

An exhibition of engraved illustrations created by Marc Chagall based on Jean de La Fontaine's fables is being held in Beijing. The exhibition, held by ICI LABAS Art Gallery in the 798 Art Zone, provides a unique opportunity to see gathered literature and art in front of our eyes. 

The exhibition not only allows visitors to observe exceptional engraving techniques, but also shows visitors the links between literature and art.

This exhibition, which lasts until July 5, displays 100 illustrated engravings by Chagall collected by Ding Yunqiu, founder of the gallery.

Jean de La Fontaine was a poet of French Champagne origin who is often described as a dreamer, whimsical, but also epicurean. His fables appeared between 1668 and 1693 and were a huge success from the beginning. Provocative and original, there are 240 fables, representing more than 60 animals.

Chagall is known for his oil paintings and yet he is an artist that has dabbled in many mediums such as sculpture, ceramics, stained glass and engraving. He constantly experiments with multiple techniques and media.

Chagall's engravings are now considered classics of 20th century art. In his lifetime, he illustrated 38 books including the La Fontaine collection Fables.

Observing Chagall's engravings, Gaston Bachelard wrote in the 1950s: "Look carefully at one of the engravings and the engraving will begin to invent stories itself. Chagall knows how to work through the very germ of the Fables. Then, in front of you, everything will germinate, grow, bloom. The fable will come out of the picture."