Monday, November 16, 2009

Chagall’s Colors of Love


ISTANBUL - When the wintry wind and rain descend on Istanbul, it’s great to head indoors for a dose of warmth, color and even romance. All three can be found at the recently opened exhibit, “Marc Chagall: Life and Love,” at the Pera Museum (Mesrutiyet Caddesi No. 65; 90-212-334-99-00;; closed on Mondays).

The exhibition, which marks the first time that works by the Russian-born modernist have been displayed in Turkey, includes paintings, drawings and prints, 160 of which are on loan from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

In addition to Chagall’s typically color-saturated paintings (”When Matisse dies, Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what color really is,” Pablo Picasso reportedly remarked in the ’50s), there are etchings he made for books written by his wife, Bella, including tales of their own romance, as well as drawings he made to illustrate an edition of the Old Testament, which he called “the greatest source of poetry of all time.”

The exhibition runs through Jan. 24. The Pera is a relatively small museum, but be sure to allow enough time for a snack at the in-house Pera Café, where the menu includes seasonal chill-chasers like pumpkin-walnut ravioli and hot mulled wine.

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