Patrons of the arts, prepare to immerse into Chagall’s wide palette in a circus-inspired event! The MMFA & Young Philanthropists Circle present a D-Vernissage; Chagall – Colour & Music Unplugged!

As soon as one steps into the exhibition, one will quickly fall “down the rabbit hole’’ into a universe that is much more cunning. If you are expecting to only view some colourful paintings, then you will be pleasantly surprised. Personally, I believe this is Chagall’s most charming factor – a never-ending momentum of surprises that challenges you until the very last piece.

Chagall was not only a painter but also created sculptures, ceramics, stained glass windows, large-scale ceilings such as the ceiling of the Paris Opera, tapestries, theater sets and costumes, murals and even “tagged” violins. He was ahead of his time and a master of combining techniques, but most of all an exceptional colour blending wizard. Keeping a rather specific colour scheme of nuances of a dominant colour that makes each piece.

This particular talent of merging and “remixing” led his art to become some of the most famous examples when it comes to expressionism, symbolism, surrealism and cubism. An avant-garde, Chagall might be one of the most versatile artists we have ever known.

Chagall – The Wedding

Raised in Liozna (then Russia now Belarus), he always kept a strong connection to his Jewish roots. Portraying it with a touch of humor and symbolism, but also at times a sense of melancholy can be felt from his “folkloric childhood” that strongly belongs to history at that specific time in Europe. With his pieces, one gets to travel from one continent to another, in space and time. Chagall personally moved more than once to escape the tension that built up towards Jews in Europe before and after WWII. This “chase” and exile from the places he called home manifested themselves as strong memories. Which he felt the urge to convey in his art. Hence a strong Hasidic Jewish theme is often present from early on in his work.

Chagall’s coup de main – The most touching and maybe most personal component of his work, is the recurring theme of love which was present until his death at age 97 in 1985 (Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France).

His art is almost at times childish and yet there is also a great deal of romance and sensualism that lingers. Especially with one of his most recurring themes “the bride”. Chagall’s first wife, Bella Rosenfeld, was a subject of many of Chagall’s paintings. Even after her death in 1944, Chagall kept on painting “the bride.” Seems to maybe have had an almost haunting effect in his personal life – his “ode to young love”.

My absolute favourite pieces, surprisingly, were the stained glass windows. They almost felt alive since they change colour depending on where you stand. With the music in the background, one does get a somewhat spiritual feeling – they’re spiritual or not. I also challenge you to discover Chagall’s sense humor – for example, try to count how many violins and roosters you find throughout the entire exhibition – he is out to keep you on your toes.


Near the end of the exhibition, there is a marvelous room with an enormous round-scale, tilted projection showing close-ups of the ceiling he painted for the Paris Opera in 1963. There are several bean-bags laid out on the floor which makes it a euphoric experience to take in, along with the beautifully chosen music that accompanies it.

Chagall was, and is par with painters such as Matisse and Picasso.

I must say that everything about this exhibition has been impeccably planned for the visitor to have the uttermost experience. From how the pieces have been paired to how the costumes are presented, everything makes your senses combine into a personal symphony with the music as the last perfect touch to this maze of colours. Make time to follow the rabbit… this is the most exquisite escape into beauty that Montreal has seen in a long time.

I urge you to make a visit soon. This is an exhibition NOT to be missed. Best time to go is during the week. Weekends have been incredibly crowded. As an art-lover, it was warming to see the masses of all ages that this exhibition is drawing. I personally have already attended the exhibition twice and am planning to do so a third time. I even recommend you go once on your own.

Do some Chagall research.

I also urge you to read up on his personal life before going to the museum. That way you can truly take the moment and indulge in the pieces without further distraction. Chagall’s life was an extraordinary one and his art will come alive in front of your eyes if you understand what drove this man intimately so strong. Though, his art will still speak loudly for itself without any information. He left us a legacy of modern art but most of all he left us with a safe place to escape into another world unlike any painter out there.

Go ahead and treat yourself one of these afternoons. Let yourself be inspired by color and music.

“Great art picks up where nature ends.” (M. Chagall)

Founded in 2012, the Young Philanthropists’ Circle of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts brings together more than 500 young professionals who love culture and philanthropy. Members meet for various events which provide opportunities to socialize, network and learn about art and philanthropy. The profits generated by the YPC contribute to the MMFA’s contemporary art programme (exhibitions and acquisitions of works of art).

For more information, please refer to the press release attached, their FB page which features more information regarding the Unplugged event, or, visit

Chagall: Colour & Music Contest

Pop on over to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts for your chance to win a trip to Nice, France!