The artist was proudly Jewish, finally able to acknowledge and be open about his religious background having left behind the societal problems that existed in Russia in his early years. He would witness violence and persistent comdemnation of members of his community and so understandably kept a low profile until he felt more comfortable in the safer surroundings of France. That said, these experiences strengthened his resolve if anything, and religious themes would appear in many of his paintings and drawings, with his illustrations of biblical themes being amongst his finest achievements.
Within the composition in front of us here we find the prophet on the left hand side in a tone of yellow. He sports a long beard, suggesting knowledge and wisdom. He clutches the Hebrew Bible under the night sky, whilst an angel floats besides him. He does not appear to notice her, as he stares at the book intently. His colour schemes were perhaps inspired by Fauvism, where brightness could clash against itself without fear of punishment. He would also make use of Cubist principles around perspective but in this example provides a simpler work that flattens elements together within his dreamy, almost surrealist world.
This painting from 1968 can be found in the Musée National Marc Chagall in Nice, France. Whilst the artist came from Eastern Europe, it was his time living in France which brought about the bright colour schemes for which his work remains most famous. It is therefore entirely correct that a museum has been set up in his adopted country, as well as in the town from where he originally came. The museum actually opened in 1973, just five years after The Prophet Jeremiah and whilst still within the artist's lifetime, which is relatively rare and also helps to underline the immediate impact that his work was having across France and the rest of Europe. The biggest highlight of the collection here are the seventeen paintings focused on biblical events and messages, such as Genesis, Exodus and the Song of Songs - they remain amongst his finest achievements.