Modernism and the Paintings of Marc Chagall Descriptive Essay by sjsilvertree

Modernism and the Paintings of Marc Chagall
An evaluation of the works of Marc Chagall as modernist painter, as defined by Clement Greenberg.
# 91393 | 967 words | 5 sources | APA | 2006 | US
Published on Dec 28, 2006 in Art (History) , Art (Painting) , Art (General)

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This paper is an analysis of the works of painter Marc Chagall and their significance in the history of 20th century art. It also evaluates the dominance of Clement Greenberg as a critic of the modern art movement, specifically in relation to the paintings of Marc Chagall.

From the Paper:

"Modernism, as defined by Clement Greenberg, is, in its ideal form, the combination of technique and subject matter to create artwork that challenges past conventions and to create art for art's sake. According to this definition, there exist many artists that are, by their existence and work within the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth century, artists of Modernity who receive little attention in the study of Modernism due to the fact that they do not follow the traditional progression as described by Greenberg. It is because of this that a distinction is recognized between Modernity, the period that encompasses modern art without regard to preconceived notions of form or content, and Modernism, which has come to be dominated by Greenberg's view. One such artist who may be a victim of the dominance of Greenbergian Modernism is Marc Chagall, who's use of abstract techniques in combination with a goal of figurative or narrative illustration marks him as a mere detour in the progression of Greenberg's Modernism. Through analysis of form and content, one realizes that room must be left for interpretation in defining the highly dynamic period of the early to mid-twentieth century art world, lest the works of artists such as Chagall be ignored in the study of Modernity for their inability to be categorized by Greenburg's concept of progression."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Greenberg, Clement. "Modernist Painting." In Art & Theory, edited by Charles Harrison. Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 2003.
  • Janson, H.W. and Anthony F. Janson. History of Art: The Western Tradition. Upper Saddle River: Pearson, 2004.
  • Harrison, Charles. Essays on Art & Literature. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2003.
  • Marc Chagall. (accessed July 11, 2006).
  • Witcombe, Christopher. Art & Artists: The Roots of Modernism. (accessed July 11, 2006).

Cite this Descriptive Essay:

APA Format

Modernism and the Paintings of Marc Chagall (2006, December 28) Retrieved April 17, 2024, from

MLA Format

"Modernism and the Paintings of Marc Chagall" 28 December 2006. Web. 17 April. 2024. <>