- NAME: Marc Chagall
- OCCUPATION: Illustrator, Painter
- BIRTH DATE: July 07, 1887
- DEATH DATE: March 28, 1985
- EDUCATION: Imperial Society for the Protection of the Arts
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Vitebsk, Belarus
- PLACE OF DEATH: Saint-Paul de Vence, France
- AKA: Marc Chagall
- Originally: Moishe Shagal
- Full Name: Marc Zaharovich Chagall
- AKA: Moshe Shagal
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Marc Chagall was a French artist whose work was generally based on emotional association rather than traditional pictorial fundamentals.
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Born in Belarus in 1887, Marc Chagall was a French painter, printmaker and designer associated with several major artistic styles, synthesizing elements of Cubism, Symbolism and Fauvism. One work in particular, I and the Village (1911), pre-dated Surrealism as an artistic expression of psychic reality. An early modernist, Chagall created works in nearly every artistic medium, including sets for plays and ballets, biblical etchings, and stained-glass windows. Chagall died in France in 1985. Today,
he is widely regarded as one of the most successful artists of the 20th century.
Marc Chagall was born on July 7, 1887, in Vitebsk, Belarus (in the Russian Empire), and was raised in a devoutly Jewish environment with eight other siblings. His father worked in a fish warehouse, and his mother ran a shop where she sold fish and sundry baking supplies. As a child, Chagall attended heder (Jewish elementary school) and later went to public school, where lessons were taught in Russian.
After learning the elements of drawing at school, from 1907 to 1910, Chagall studied painting in St. Petersburg at the Imperial Society for the Protection of the Arts, eventually under stage designer Léon Bakst. A characteristic work from this early period is "The Dead Man" (1908), a painting that depicts a violinist (a recurring image for the artist) amid a nightmarish rooftop scene.
Chagall moved to Paris in 1910, and then moved into a studio on the edge of town in a Bohemian area known as La Ruche ("the Beehive"). There, he met several writers and artists, including Guillaume Apollinaire, Robert Delaunay and Albert Gleizes. In such artistic company, experimentation was encouraged, and Chagall quickly began developing the poetic and innovative tendencies that had begun to emerge in Russia at the time—tendencies that may not have previously been encouraged. At the same time, he came under the influence of the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and Fauvist pictures he saw in Paris museums, and was introduced to Fauvism and Cubism. Before long, he was participating in the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon d'Automne (1912), annual French exhibits, staging his first solo show in 1914 in Berlin to great adulation.
This period—during which he created several images of his childhood and hometown of Vitebsk—is considered Chagall's strongest, artistically, and the style he developed would remain with him for the rest of his life. His works during this time include "Hommage Apollinaire" (1911-12), "The Fiddler" (1912) and "Paris Through the Window" (1913).
After the Berlin exhibition, Chagall returned to Vitebsk, Belarus, where he intended to stay long enough to marry his fiancée, Bella. A few weeks later, though, he was stranded by the outbreak of World War I, as the Russian borders were closed indefinitely. Instead of despairing, Chagall embraced local scenes in his art, working at the time in an unusually realistic style.
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