Marc Chagall, born in 1887, was a Russian painter, printmaker and designer. His art is in galleries and museums across the world, and we know him as one of the great artists of the 20th century. Chagall was born in Vitebsk, Russia (now Belarus) to a Jewish family. Immersed in Jewish culture and iconography at an early age, Judaic traditions and folklore show in his art. After studying in St. Petersburg, he moved to Paris in 1910. There, he met other notable artists and encountered art movements such as Fauvism and Cubism. Under the influence of these new acquaintances, Chagall developed his unique style. Indeed, his dream-like paintings are a hybrid of Cubism, Expressionism, Abstraction, Fauvism and Symbolism.
Chagall painted subjects rooted in personal history and Eastern European folklore. For example, his trademark motifs include flowers, clowns, animals, biblical prophets and fiddlers on a roof. Often the principal character is even the young painter himself. Whimsical figures, often pictured upside down, produce an effect that resembles a film montage. Furthermore, these visual metaphors helped to make him one of the most popular major innovators of the 20th-century.
Like many 20th Century artists, Chagall spent years experimenting with different techniques. Besides painting, Chagall was also noted for his work in stained glass, book illustrations and theatre design. In 1923, Chagall began exploring printmaking. He went on to produce etchings illustrating the Bible, and several smaller collections of engravings, lithographs and monotypes. Chagall then mastered the art of stained glass in the late 1950s. In fact, his stained glass windows are some of the strongest work produced towards the end of his career.
Marc Chagall died 28th March 1985. When he died in France, he was the last surviving master of European modernism, outliving Joan Miro by two years. Throughout his career, he had received a lot of praise for being a pioneer of modern art. As a constant innovator, Chagall invented an artistic language that documented the high and lows of the 20th-century.
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