A Walk in the Garden with Chagall
The couple in Marc Chagall’s 1937 painting The Lovers sits enclosed inside a bouquet, floating against one of the artist’s trademark shtetl scenes, complete with whimsical goat and chicken. The fiery red, pink and white flowers glow against the darker background, the blooms so vibrant that a viewer may imagine catching a whiff of their heady scent. “Marc Chagall, Flowers, and the French Riviera: The Color of Dreams,” at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Fla., through July 31, allows visitors to experience the sights and smells of the flowers that inspired the artist as more than an exercise in imagination. The exhibit focuses on Chagall as a naturalist, and the grounds of the botanical garden are enhanced with flora from the south of France—orchids, bougainvillea and citrus trees—evoking Chagall’s home in Saint-Paul de Vence, Provence, where he spent his later years. Selby’s glass conservatory displays, amid the plants, reproductions of the artist’s stained-glass windows that feature nature motifs. The garden’s exhibit center features key floral paintings, including
The Lovers, on loan from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and Bouquets of Lilacs at Saint-Paul, one of two private Chagall works making their public debut, along with a collection of photos that chronicles the artist’s life.