While Chagall's paintings often incorporated religious iconography, he daringly re-appropriated these images for his own pictorial narratives, changing their significance and breathing new life into these age-old motifs. In Moïse tenant les Tables de la Loi, et l'artiste, Chagall interrogates the metaphysical potential of paint by intrinsically aligning the extraordinary with the mundane, the self-portrait with the profit. He consequently aligns his own artistic message with a biblical message, one that is infused with poetic and religious insight. Chagall writes, ‘It has always seemed to me and still seems today the greatest source of poetry of all time. Ever since then, I have searched for its reflection in life and in Art. The Bible is like an echo of nature and this is the secret I have tried to convey’ (quoted in ‘The Biblical Message’, 1973, in Barbara Harshav (ed.), Marc Chagall on Art and Culture, Stanford, 2003, p. 172).
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