Born: July 7, 1887
Died: March 28, 1985
Russian painter and artist
Marc Chagall was a Russian painter. He’s one of the notable masters of the School of Paris. He was influential on surrealism, which was a twentieth-century artistic movement that expressed the subconscious in wild imagery.
Marc Chagall was born Moishe Shagal on July 7, 1887, in Vitebsk, Russia. His family included 10 children. The family was poor by the standards of the day. His family and village he grew up in heavily influenced the themes in his art.
Chagall received early schooling from an assortment of neighborhood teachers and even apprenticed for a short time with a photographer. As a young man he decided to become an artist and received financial support from his parents in the form of art lessons. Then, in 1907 he moved to St. Petersburg, Russia, where he attended the school of the Imperial Society for the Protection of the Arts and studied briefly with famed Russian painter Leon Bakst (1866–1924).
The early years of his career were challenging for Chagall as he was extremely poor and unable to support himself through his artwork. After taking a job as a servant he learned how to paint signs as a way to earn more and support himself.
During his time in St. Petersburg, while studying under Bakst he experienced his first introduction to the modern art movement that was influencing poets and artists inParis. Fortunately, Chagall received help from a patron and arrived in Paris during 1910 where influential poets and painters became his friends . During this time period, Chagall participated in the art showings at the historic Salon des Indépendants and the Salon d’Automne during 1912. A turning point in his notoriety came during his first solo show in Herwarth Walden’s Der Sturm Gallery in Berlin. This solo show established him on an internal stage as a leading artist.
Chagall moved back to Russia where he lived during World War I during the years of 1914 to 1919. When the Russian Revolution culminated in 1917 with the czar’s being overthrown Chagall was appointed to an art commissar’s position. However this was a relatively short lived appointment as he resigned in 1919 over conflicts with the suprematist painters. In 1922 Chagall decided to leave Russia for good and traveled to Berlin and then back to Paris.
Throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s he was commissioned to illustrate hundred’s of biblical themed etchings. He’s widely considered as possibly the greatest interpreter of the Bible since Rembrandt.
Chagall traveled throughout France and elsewhere in the 1930’s and 1940’s and settled in the United States, until 1947. During this time he designed the sets and costumes for the ballets.
After Chagall returned to France, in 1948, he began a series of lithographs Arabian Nights. His first sculptures were produced in the early 1950’s and in the 1960’s and 1970’s his stained glass art began appearing in notable buildings. One of those was the United Nations in NYC.
Chagall created great artworks throughout his life, even into his later years. In 1977, the Louvre exhibited sixty-two of his paintings. Marc Chagall died at the age of ninety-seven in 1985.