Musée Marc Chagall
History and museums
The Musée Marc Chagall (National Museum or Chagall Biblical Message) is a national museum dedicated to the work of painter Marc Chagall - essentially his works inspired by religion - and located in Nice, in the Alpes-Maritimes.
The museum was created during the lifetime of the artist, with the support of the Minister of Culture André Malraux, and inaugurated in 1973. It is also known as the "National Museum Marc Chagall Biblical Message" ("Musée national message biblique Marc Chagall") as it houses the series of seventeen paintings illustrating the biblical message, painted by Chagall and offered to the French State in 1966. This series illustrates the books of Genesis, Exodus and the Song of Songs.
Chagall himself provided detailed instructions about the creation of the garden by Henri Fish, and decided the place of each of his works in the museum. The chronological order of the works was not followed. Chagall created the mosaic which overlooks the pond and the blue stained glasses that decorate the concert hall; he also wanted an annual exhibition to be held on a topic related to the spiritual and religious history of the world.
As the collection has grown, what was a museum illustrating the theme Biblical message has become a monographic museum dedicated to Chagall's works of religious and spiritual inspiration. In 1972, the artist gave the museum all the preparatory sketches of the Message Biblique as well as stained glass and sculptures, and in 1986, the museum acquired, in lieu of inheritance taxes, the complete drawings and gouaches painted to depict the Exodus and ten other paintings, which includes the triptych named Résistance, Résurrection, Libération. Other acquisitions complemented the museum's collections, which now has one of the largest collection of works by Marc Chagall.