Chagall in Moscow

by Elena Dmitrievna Tolstoya

Marc Chagall arrived in Moscow in 1920, where he worked in the theater. Two years later, after a series of arguments and fallings out, he left Russia forever.

Carefully examining all available sources, including new archival evidence, Elena Tolstaya artfully reconstructs the nature of Chagall’s interactions with the Russian avant-garde of the early 1920s.

The result is a nuanced portrait of a hitherto unknown Chagall, whose apocalyptic Constructivist art alienated traditional Moscow actors and whose Jewishness was deemed of the wrong sort by key figures in the emerging Jewish theatre scene.

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About the Author


Elena Dmitrievna Tolstoya

Elena Dmitrievna Tolstaya came to Jerusalem from Moscow in 1973. She received her PhD in Russian Literature from the Hebrew University in 1982, where she taught Russian literature until 2012. She is now retired, married, and has three children. She has published books on Chekhov, the Jewish-Russian critic Akim Volynsky, and her grandfather Alexi Tolstoy.