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Marc Chagall, Moses Breaks the Tablets (1930s)
Under Chagall’s brush, the Tablets are the biblical equivalent of trick candles on a birthday cake or Road Runner. Although Moses has cast the Tablets on the ground, where, indestructible (save for some mustard-like yellow paint on their surface), they remain upside-down. By emphasizing the power of the Tablets as physical object, Chagall avoids sentimentalizing the narrative with decimated Tablet parts strewn about. The tragedy here, to Chagall, is that the Tablets sit disrespectfully on the ground whatever their condition.