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The Meeting of Ruth and Boaz

The Meeting of Ruth and Boaz, 1960, Lithograph
Marc Chagall (French / Russian, 1887 – 1985)

The rich culture of Marc Chagall's Hasidic Jewish upbringing would influence his life as an artist. Born in Russia, Chagall would move to Paris in 1910, to further his artistic studies at a time when Cubism was the prevalent style. Chagall said, “Since my early youth, I have been fascinated by the Bible. It has always seemed to me still that it is the greatest source of poetry of all time. Since then I have sought this reflection in life and art. The Bible is like an echo of nature and this secret I have tried to transmit.” In this work, the artist shows us the first meeting of lovers Ruth and Boaz. Boaz, a wealthy landowner, allows the impoverished widow Ruth to glean his land. The unusual gesture they are making, lifting their left arms above their heads, is said to suggest generosity and friendliness.