Marc Chagall

Russian, French

Marc Chagall

Russian painter and engraver born in 1887 in Liozna, Empire Russia (now Belarus), naturalized French in 1937. He died in St-Paul-de-Vence in France in 1985.

His work is an amalgam of styles ranging from surrealism to neo-primitivism. His work is inspired by Jewish traditions, Russian folklore and his own symbolism. Marc Chagall worked oil, engraving, sculpture, poetry, glass and enamel. In 1914, he exhibited for the first time at the Salon des Independants in Paris, then went to Berlin to present his works next to Paul Klee at the Galerie Der Sturm.

He returned to Paris in 1915 married and founded his family. With the political climate of the time, the painter reconnects with his Hasidic culture and his works testify of his respect for the Jewish people. During the First World War, he became Commissioner of Fine Arts and responsible for the artistic life of his city, Vitebsk.

He returned to Berlin and then Paris. He became increasingly known in the United States, where he met Abroise Vollard, a merchant and book publisher who ordered him, among others, gouaches and etchings from Lafontaine's fables.

In order to escape the anti-Semitism reigning in Europe in the thirties, he took French nationality. In 1941, the artist was arrested and saved by the American journalist Varian Fry who allows him to settle in the United States.

He returned to Europe in 1948. The Maeght gallery sells his works throughout the world, both oils, engravings, mosaics and stained-glass. He executed the fresco of the Paris Opera in 1963. It was in 1970, that he realized his work for the Bordeaux wine Château Mouton Rothschild

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