Marc Chagall Biography

Russian-born 20th century master artist, whose paintings and graphic prints often depict folklore, humour and fantasy.

Marc Chagall was born in Vitsyebsk, Russia, in 1887. His artistic education took place in St. Petersburg and later in Paris. In 1914, he finished his studies in Paris and returned to St. Petersburg, where he stayed until 1917. Following the Russian revolution, he was made the Director of the 'Moscow Jewish State Theatre', where he painted several murals in the theatre lobby.

In 1923, he moved to France, where he made his home for the rest of his life, except for a period of residence in the United States from 1941 to 1948. He died in St. Paul de Vence, France, on March 28, 1985.

He is recognized as one of the most significant painters amd mural and graphic artists of the 20th century. His works are often humorous, with elements of folklore and fantasy that draw on the resources of the unconscious. Chagall's works are typified by his own unique imagery, often blended with poetic inspiration.

The 12 stained-glass windows in the Hadassah Hospital of the 'Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Centre' in Jerusalem, 1962, also typify his numerous works based on biblical themes and vivid recollections of Russian-Jewish village life. Works of this nature can be seen in the 'Museum of Modern Art', New York.

The Musee National Message Biblique Marc Chagall (National Museum of the Marc Chagall Biblical Message) was opened in 1973, Nice, France, to house hundreds of his biblical works. Other distinguishing works by Chagall include a canvas, completed in 1964, that covers the ceilings of the 'Opera House' in Paris, and two large murals that hang in the lobby of the 'Metropolitan Opera House', New York.

Selected Museums and Collections

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  • Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
  • Guggenheim Museum, New York
  • Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg
  • Minneapolis Institute of Arts
  • Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • National Gallery of Canada
  • Peggy Guggenheim Collection
  • Art Gallery of New South Wales
  • Art Institute of Chicago
  • Cincinnati Art Museum
  • Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Kunsthaus Zurich
  • Kunstmuseum Basel
  • Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires
  • Palazzo Ruspoli, Rome
  • Royal Academy of Arts, London
  • Tate Gallery, London

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