Marc Chagall


Artist Biography:

A major figure in the early 20th century art world, the French-Russian artist Marc Chagall, was a great influence on the Surrealists. His very imaginative style presented recognisable images either within unusual surroundings, or free-floating in space. Chagall used strong colours to portray his subjects with a dreamlike feel. His earlier work concentrated on imagery from his village-life upbringing, but in later life his work diversified, and he increasingly painted religious subjects. Chagall was born in Vitebsk (Belarus, then part of the Russian Empire) in 1887. In 1906 he moved to St. Petersburg to study, and came under the influence of Léon Bakst. In 1910 he moved to Paris to develop his artistic style, where he met Apollinaire, Delaunay, Leger, Modigliani and Lhote and where he was influenced by the work of the Cubists. On returning to Russia in 1917, he was made Commissar of Fine Arts in the Vitebsk region. After a violent disagreement with the artist Kazimir Malevich, he moved to Moscow and there became the art director for the Moscow Jewish State Theatre, before returning permanently to Paris in 1923. Chagall passed away in Saint Paul de Vence, France at the age of 97.

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