This painting by the Russian-born painterMarc Chagallis practically a tribute by the artist to another earlier creator,Vincent van Goghand in special to his work Café de noche. Above all, it is reminiscent of that work in various compositional aspects, although it is true that later the type of elements with which the scene is built changes.
For example, in Van Gogh's painting, the center of the image is occupied by the luminous spot of a pool table that we see almost from a zenithal point of view and that is illuminated by several ceiling lamps. However, in El Sabath de Chagall that prominence is given to a dining table that is somewhat displaced from the center and also somewhat foreshortened, while the light it receives comes from an oil lamp pendant and two candlesticks located on the top itself.
As for people, it's also about people a bit left of themselves. But in this case it can be understood why the family has had the entire Jewish holiday, the Sabbath, and they are going to sit at the table for dinner (it is night as we see through the window). All of them are in a very passive attitude, as if letting the time tick by on the wall clock pass (there is also one in Van Gogh's painting).
Everything is about a very careful set design. It is capable of showing a very accentuated perspective that is marked by the lines of the floorboards, and by the vertical linesthat mark us the wall, the door or the window, but also by the pendulums of the clock or the lamp hanging from the ceiling. That is the basis for the use of a color that evokes the hallucinations of Van Gogh.
The truth is that Marc Chagall had always admired the color characteristic of the Dutch painter, whom he had studied in depth during his formative years. And in this picture of his beginnings, he painted it in 1910, he uses it as an inspiration and also as a tool to demonstrate all of his capabilities. It must be understood that way, as a work in which he continues to shape his style and presents us with one of his clearest and most important influences. As much as the colors of Fauvism could have been, or the sinuous shapes and arabesques typical of Matisse, or the decompositions that were triumphing in those years among the painters of Cubism.
All this will help him to shape his particular and poetic vision of the world in which the magic of Paris where he lives and the memories of the city of Vitebsk where he grew up. A fusion of yesterday and today, of the present and memory that will flood many of his works