Wycliffe College and IMAGO Present "Marc Chagall and the Bible" – An Exhibition of Etchings and Lithographs with Biblical Themes

May 08th, 2023

TORONTO, ON, May 8, 2023 – Wycliffe College, in partnership with IMAGO, is delighted to bring to Toronto a fascinating exhibition Marc Chagall and the Bible from the Bowden Collections. The exhibition – from May 16 to October 15, 2023 – showcases 58 etchings and lithographs by the legendary artist Marc Chagall (1887-1985). This collection of prints by Chagall, curated by art collector and visual artist Sandra Bowden, is presented to the Canadian public for the first time. 

Chagall is perhaps the foremost visual interpreter of the Bible in the 20th century. His vision of the Old Testament combines his Russian-Jewish heritage and modern art giving us a rich display of symbol and imagination. “Since my early youth I have been fascinated by the Bible," said the artist, "it has always seemed to me, and it seems to me still, that it is the greatest source of poetry of all time. Since then, I have sought this reflection in life and in art. The Bible is like an echo of nature and this secret I have tried to transmit.” 

The Marc Chagall and the Bible collection contains 58 etchings and lithographs of the artist’s graphic works. Among these are ten of the 105 etchings that constitute a suite of work for Marc Chagall’s Bible (1932-39, 1952-56), a monumental project spanning 25 years. Also included are all 42 brilliantly colored images from his 1956 and 1960 suites of Bible lithographs, printed by Mourlot and published in Paris by Tériade for Verve as special editions devoted exclusively to Chagall’s original lithographs. 

“The art of Marc Chagall draws the viewer into an imaginative world that steps beyond the limits of a merely realistic account of things. His works are sensual, filled with emotion and they cover a wide range of themes and always tell a story. Chagall’s life-long interest in the Bible is well captured in this exhibition. He believed the biblical narrative to have a universal significance across cultural and religious differences. He was not very interested in being “modern” and once expressed his wish ‘to stay wild, untamed …. to shout, weep, pray.’”

-         John Franklin, Executive Director of IMAGO

"This exhibition is a rare and unique opportunity to explore the intersection of faith, religion, and the arts through the eyes and hand of one of the 20th century's most celebrated artists."

-         Stephen Hewko, Program Director at Wycliffe College

Visitors to the exhibition can expect a mesmerizing visual experience of biblical narratives through Chagall's dreamlike and captivating imagination.

"Chagall and the Bible" opens in May and runs through October 2023 in the Great Hall at Wycliffe College, 5 Hoskin Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1H7.

Art reception will be held on the opening night on Tuesday, May 16, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. John Franklin from IMAGO will give opening remarks and refreshments will be provided.

Admission to the exhibition is free and tickets are not required. For opening hours and upcoming events, please visit wycliffecollege.ca/chagall. For group viewings outside of the opening hours, please contact the exhibition’s organizing team at wycliffe.events@utoronto.ca.

Digital copies of the exhibition poster and postcard may be downloaded here for distribution: poster, postcard.



Jane Twohey, Program Administrator

Email: wycliffe.events@utoronto.ca

Phone: (905) 260-6679