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Art witness: the 20th century according to Chagall

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February 19, 2013 03:28 PM EST | AP

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PARIS — A new exhibit in Paris tries to show the painter Marc Chagall as a historian of the 20th century.

Through rich, colorful allegories of the two world wars, the Russian Revolution and his experience as a Jew fleeing Nazi Europe, Chagall's paintings are presented as a witness account of the turbulent 20th century.

Images of pogroms, Russian soldiers, war and Jewish persecution are juxtaposed with Judeo-Christian iconography.

Chagall was born in Russia in 1887, traveled widely and died in France in 1985.

Curator Julia Garimorth-Foray says Chagall witnessed the barbaric acts of the time "and reacts in an engaged way."

"Chagall between War and Peace" runs until July 21 at Paris' Musee de Luxembourg.