Marc Chagall, Artist (1887-1985)
Marc Chagall, is considered one of the most influential artists of the20th century.
Considered a pioneer of the Modern art movement, his vast collection of timeless masterpieces
are a rich legacy that continues to influence the world of Modern art.
Chagall was born July 7, 1887, in Vitebsk, Russia. In his early life, he attended
local Jewish religious schools whose teachings would influence much of his later work.
In 1910 Chagall moved to Paris and studied in a small art academy. Incorporating dreamlike
imagery with hints of Cubism, popular in France at the time, Chagall created some
of his most lasting work.
After returning to Vitebsk in 1914, the outbreak of World War I trapped Chagall in
Russia. He settled in Vitebsk, where he was appointed Commissar for Art in 1918, but
he relinquished the position in 1920 and moved his family to Moscow. During World
War II, Chagall fled to the United States and returned to France in 1947.
In the later stages of his career, Chagall began working in sculpture, ceramics and
stained glass windows. Significant achievements exist in the form of large-scale commissions
around the world, including creating stained glass windows for the synagogue at the
Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem (completed 1961), the Stain-Etienne
Cathedral in Metz (completed 1968), the U.N. building in New York City (completed
1964) and the All Saint's Church in Mainz, Germany (Completed 1978). Chagall also
painted the ceiling of the Pairs Opera House (completed 1964); and created murals
for the New York Metropolitan Opera (completed 1964).
In 1977 Chagall received the Grand Medal of the Legion of Honor, France's highest
decoration. That same year, he became one of only a handful of artists in history
to receive a retrospective exhibition at the Louvre. In 1985 Chagall died at the age
of 97, the last surviving of the original European masters of modern art. He was buried
in Stain-Paul, in southeastern France.