8. The Two Marc Chagall Paintings Inside the Metropolitan Opera House are Reversed

“The Triumph of Music” (left) and “The Sources of Music” (right)

Marc Chagall was commissioned to create two murals, along with the set design and costumes for the 1966 production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. The two large paintings, The Sources of Music and The Triumphs of Music, hang above the Grand Tier level and can be viewed best from the restaurant.

The two murals were accidentally hung in reverse placement from what Chagall initially intended. As scholar Jackie Wullschlager notes in her biography of the artist, Chagall reported that upon seeing the murals in their reversed state, he “yelled as I never have before. My mother, when she gave birth to her children, didn’t yell as much. I could doubtless be heard all over Lincoln Square.” However, true to the unwritten manifesto that is Chagall’s work, eventually he decided he liked the placement, and in fact, preferred it to his original vision.