Color Composition with Marc Chagall

 Artwork Exploration
Two faces outlined in black on blue blackground on left side, flowers and man playing an instrument on right side.

Look closely at Marc Chagall's Blue Yellow Composition: Head and Flowers, an artwork from the Museum's Collection. Then, follow along with the prompts below to explore, learn more, and create a colorful artwork of your own! 

Look

  • What do you see? 
  • List all the colors you can find. Which ones stand out the most? 
  • Would you describe this artwork as realistic, abstract, or something else? Why? 
  • How do you feel when you look at this artwork? 

Learn

  • This artwork is a color lithograph, which means the artist first drew the work on a stone plate and then printed it on paper. 
  • The artist who made this lithograph, Marc Chagall, was Belarusian and lived in France. He liked to make many different kinds of art, including paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and even stained glass. 
  • Marc Chagall often made artworks inspired by dreams, memories, or elements of folklore. 

Think

  • Why do you think Chagall divided the image into two halves of different colors?
  • How would the work be different if it included only the blue half? What about if it included only the yellow half? 
  • Imitate the expressions you see on the faces in the artwork. How does it feel to hold those expressions? 
  • What story does this artwork tell? 

Make

  • Create your own dreamy two-color composition! You'll need a sheet of paper and something to color with. 
  • Divide your paper in half. Choose one color for each side and fill it in. If you're using paint or marker, be sure to let the colors dry before moving on to the next step! 
  • Think of a dream you've had or a memory that stays with you. Draw that dream or memory on top of the colors. Don't worry about making it look realistic! 
  • Give your artwork a title and share it with a friend or family member. 

Image Credits

Marc Chagall
b. 1887, Liozna, Belarus; d. 1985, Saint Paul de Vence, France
Color lithograph
30 x 22 1/2 in.
Accession date: 1999
Bequest of Bernard J. and Florence F. Starkoff
© 2020 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris