Marc Chagall’s Illustrations for Gogol’s “Dead Souls” at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art


Marc Chagall - "Chichikov and Sobakevich after Dinner" illustration for Nikolai Gogol Dead Souls, 1923-1927. Etching, 21 x 27.5 cm., Collection of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

In the spring of 1931, Marc Chagall set sail for a visit in
Eretz-Israel. He had been invited by Tel Aviv Mayor Meir Dizengoff, following
their acquaintance in Paris in 1930. Chagall was taken with Dizengoff’s passion
to establish a museum in the emerging Jewish city, and agreed to join the Paris
Committee set up to promote the project. Chagall brought a gift, his
series of prints illustrating Nikolai Gogol’s novel Dead Souls. The series was
personally dedicated to Dizengoff, and was intended to enrich the collection of
the museum, due to open in 1932.