The Chagall Museum in Nice is the first purpose-built museum for a living artist in France. It houses the largest collection of his work including the monumental Biblical Message. This is a series of large format paintings that tells the Old Testament story on one level while referencing more current themes on another. When we visited the museum we took advantage of the free audio guide, which I recommend in order to get a full understanding of Chagall’s intentions for this cycle of paintings.
I don’t find the childlike style of Chagall appealing but somehow it does work to tell such a big story as the Biblical Message. The bright colours and use of symbols are explained by the commentary on the audio guide. Take your time and think about the images before you as you go through the exhibit. In another part of the museum a panel describes how after the terrible destruction of the Second World War, a group of religious leaders called on the art world to address the challenge to spirituality. Chagall, who had been living in the USA, responded, as did Matisse and Picasso, among others.