When we walked into the Israel Museum, we were treated to a recently opened art exhibit. On the wall were a collection of Marc Chagall (1887-1985) original drawings. In 1958, Chagall was commissioned to create the stained glass windows for the Abbell Synagogue at the Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem. This exhibit showcased the multi-step process that he used.
Chagall and his assistant, Charles Marq, spent 2 years creating the stained glass windows that symbolized the Twelve Tribes. He used four dominant colors- blue, red, yellow, and green. His first set of drawings were simple. He only used ink and light pencil. The next group had ink and a wash with shading. Next, he introduced watercolor. The fourth version introduced colored patches that looked like collages. The figures were lightly superimposed. The final version is a small rendition of the completed work.
The exhibit included all five step of the Tribes of Levi and Dan and a sample of the other tribes.
This picture features the final set.
Before being installed at the Hadassah Hospital, the windows were exhibited in Paris and at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In 1962, the windows were dedicated at the Hadassah Hospital. Marc Chagall stated,
This is my modest gift to the Jewish people who have always dreamt of biblical love, friendship and of peace among all peoples. This is my gift to that people which lived here thousands of years ago among the other Semitic people.
If you visit the Hadassah Hospital, don’t miss the opportunity to see the small sanctuary. Check the Hadassah website for opening and closing times.