A look through Marc Chagall’s ‘Window’

Paris has always been a city defined by artists. The romance and iconography of the City of Lights is ingrained in the minds even of those who have never set foot in France. In conjunction with the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA), curator Michael Taylor has combed the Art Museum’s own holdings to put together an exhibition of Parisian views by Marc Chagall and his contemporaries.

“Paris Through the Window” is a vivid illustration of the artistic community that thrived there during the early decades of the 20th century. While it centers on Chagall’s work from 1910-1923, the exhibition also encompasses the concurrent work by his peers and costume and set designs for the Ballets Russes, which both employed and influenced artists in the city.

The show’s title comes from a Chagall painting that Taylor calls an “exuberant masterpiece,” its “kaleidoscope of imagery” depicting a surreal view of the city capturing its colorful vibrancy and technological modernity —º both aspects that will be celebrated by Philly’s multi-faceted arts festival.

If you go

“Paris Through the Window: Marc Chagall and His Circle” runs through July 10 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Check out these PIFA-related events:

» ‘Bella: The Color of Love’
This musical cabaret inspired by Bella Chagall — wife and muse to Marc — sees its world premiere in Philadelphia.
(April 28 through May 1, Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 S. Broad St.)

» ‘Artistes, Auteurs et Autres Animaux’
The Academy of Vocal Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Zoo present this event (which translates to “Artists, Authors and other Animals”) featuring songs about Parisian artists — including Chagall — and animals.
(April 12 and 13, 7:30 p.m., Helen Corning Warden Theater, 1920 Spruce St.)

» Art After Five
Miro Dance Theatre presents a preview of their latest, “PUNCH,” their 2010 piece “Already Seen” and a new work with Khmer Arts Ensemble inspired by Chagall’s use of fairy tales. (April 8, 5 p.m., Philadelphia Museum of Art)

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