Marc Chagall was born in 1887 to a poor Jewish family in Russia.
In 1907 he began studying art with Leon Bakst in St. Petersburg. It was at this time that his distinct style that we recognize today began to emerge.
In 1910, Chagall, moved to Paris for four years. It was during this period that he painted some of his most famous paintings of the Jewish village, and developed the features that became recognizable trademarks of his art.
Strong and bright colors began to portray the world in a dreamlike state. Fantasy, nostalgia, and religion began to fuse together to create otherworldly images.
In 1914, before the outbreak of World War I, Chagall held a one-man show in Berlin, exhibiting work dominated by Jewish images.
During the war, he resided in Russia, and in 1917, endorsing the revolution, he was appointed Commissar for Fine Arts in Vitebsk and then director of the newly established Free Academy of Art.
In 1922, Chagall left Russia, settling in France one year later. He lived there permanently except for the years 1941 – 1948 when, fleeing France during World War II, he resided in the United States.
Chagall’s horror over the Nazi rise to power is expressed in works depicting Jewish martyrs and refugees.
His abstract post-impressionist style with biblical undertones embodies a deep passion for life, while still maintaining a zest for the whimsical, and at times, childish. These characteristics give Marc Chagall paintings a unique richness that few other artists of his time were capable of. Marc Chagall wastes no space as every square inch of his canvas is filled with vibrant and powerful colors.
Chagall received many prizes and much recognition for his work. He was also one of very few artists to exhibit work at the Louvre in their lifetime.
He died in 1985 in Provance.