Chagall painted this canvas after his return to Russia from France just before the Second World War rained. The painting was shown for the first time in the Russian Museum of Modern Art in 1939; supposedly (according to official Soviet's art critics), it is the most crucial work of Chagall done after his return.
Job was Chagall's favourite biblical figure. He used Job many times as the main character of his works. He painted him before 1917 during his academic period in Russia and again after returning to France in his last years. This style of Job Praying was most likely done in 1939-1940, during his new exile in Russia and just before his return to the United States (where he became a citizen later), also during his many travels around the world after the Second World War.
According to Chagall, Job was not suffering in humility. He cried out to God with all his might, beats himself, and throws ashes on his head. He is a man of flesh and blood who is full of regret for every sin he has done. Repentance is indeed the only way to be forgiven by God. Most viewers feel that Chagall's "Job" closely resembles Rodin's The Thinker sculpture. It is not a coincidence, as both Rodin and Chagall of Jewish faith tried to convey their innermost religious thoughts using artwork.
According to most viewers, Chagall's piece captures the emotion of God's love. Job is on his knees in front of God, pleading for relief from his suffering. Interestingly enough, the woman behind Job seems to be the only one smiling, yet she is not on God's side. She represents the wicked people of this world who are smiling and happy while others around them suffer. Job was a patient and prayerful man. His faith never went to waste as God repaid him and restored his health, wealth, and family.
Job Praying is on the list of the ten most essential works in the Russian museum's collection; it will never be sold even if offered to purchase at any price. The painting Job Praying sits at Pushkin Museum and is a remarkable piece of work. It summarises all of Chagall's achievements in his homeland and away. It shows an image of the otherworldly man who is in suffering and desperation. While all this is happening, Job still testifies to his faith and in the goodness of the Lord. There was also, many years earlier, a series of artworks based on the life of Job by William Blake.