Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dreaming with Chagall

Chagall's Paris from the Window, 1913

sponge painted sky base

I was very excited to introduce my students to the art of Marc Chagall this session. I found a wonderful book geared towards children. (Dreamer From the Village by Michelle Markel) It does a fantastic job of detailing his upbringing in Russia, the impact his devoutly religious Jewish background had on his art, and his awakening as an artist by the modern center of art, Paris.

We looked at his painting Paris Through the Window to create our own inspired versions. We also talked about some elements that you see often in Chagall's work, vibrant suns, floating people, animals and flowers. Chagall painted his world of dreams, fantasies and memories.

My 3rd thru 5th graders created a dreamlike sky base using sponges and acrylic. Painted cities, glowing suns, surreal cats (or other animals) and flowers were added to create their own window into their dream scape. The last step was to add strips of black posterboard to create window panes and a photo of them flying. They are really enjoying creating these pieces. More to post next week as they complete them.


  1. I LOVE this project!! How Cool!!

  2. Really nice interpretation of Chagall. I never quite know how to teach him, but this lesson is a saver. I plan to incorporate Chagall next year.

  3. I adore how these turned out! THey are beautiful. I just finished a Chagall project with second graders today posted it on my blog...but I like yours so much better!! Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Thanks for the comments! Phyl, I agree. Chagall is tricky - so much going on, so much symbolism. But what an amazing life story (I plan on reading his autobiography)! Megan, I just checked out your 2nd grader's pieces. I think you chose a wonderful way to approach Chagall. The pieces look great!


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