Meeting of Jacob and Rachel

Marc Chagall, Meeting of Jacob and Rachel, 1957, Hand-colored etching, Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee.

In 1931 Chagall was asked by a Parisian art dealer and publisher to do a series of etching on the Bible. Born in Belarus, Chagall now lived in Paris with his wife and daughter where he was involved with a group of artists and collectors interested in defining a contemporary Jewish art. In the previous year the mayor of Tel Aviv invited Chagall to come to Palestine for the Purim festival and the laying of the foundation stone of the Tel Aviv Museum. He made several trips to Palestine and then Israel for this project that he completed in 1957. The Bible series is a collection of 105 hand-colored etchings depicting scenes from the Old Testament. His poetic style merges the ancient biblical stories with his own memories of pre-war Hasidic life in Belarus.


Also called the Hebrew Bible, those parts of the canon that are common to both Jews and Christians. The designation "Old Testament" places this part of the canon in relation to the New Testament, the part of the Bible canonical only to Christians. Because the term "Old Testament" assumes a distinctly Christian perspective, many scholars prefer to use the more neutral "Hebrew Bible," which derives from the fact that the texts of this part of the canon are written almost entirely in Hebrew.

Another name often used for the area of Israel and Judah, derived from the Latin term for the Roman province of Palaestina; ultimately, the name derives from the name of the Philistine people.

A Jewish holiday celebrating the saving of the Jews of Persia from annihilation, as recounted in the biblical book of Esther.

Literally "mound," a small hill-shaped site containing numerous occupational layers of a town or city built on top of one another over millennia.

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