Half-Past Three (The Poet) is a painting by Marc Chagall, created in 1911-1912 shortly after the artist moved to Paris from Russia. Celebrating individual creativity and imagination, this work of art can be seen as an artistic manifesto that reflects Chagall’s unique style. In the painting, he adopted abstract forms and dynamic compositions of Cubism, but infused it with his signature touch of humor, emotion, and colorful designs.
Chagall’s “Half-Past Three” portrays a cat reading beside a table where a plate of fish and a bottle of wine are visible. The playful imagery reflects Chagall’s rejection of academia within the realm of Cubism. Instead, he challenged traditional approaches to art with his unconventional compositions that celebrated the freedom for artistic expression.
This masterpiece is displayed at The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. As one stands before this piece, they can witness how Chagall masterfully combined abstract forms with personal experiences to create an artwork that fully evokes imagination while still capturing one’s attention through its intrinsic charm.