Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall
07.07.1887 (Vitebsk, Russia) - 28.03.1985 (Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France)

Nationality: Russian


Marc Chagall was born Movsja Zacharovitsj Sjagal on July 7, 1887, in Vitebsk, Russia and learned painting in Paris, where he lived from 1910 to 1914, and Saint Petersburg, where he was based between 1915 and 1917. After the Russian Revolution he was director of the Art Academy in Vitebsk (1918-1919) and he was art director of the Moscow Jewish State Theater from 1919 to 1922. Chagall painted several murals in the theater lobby and executed the backdrops for numerous productions. Thereafter he returned to Paris.

During World War II, Chagall fled to the United States, where the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York, gave him a retrospective in 1946. In 1948 he permanently settled in France. Chagall is distinguished for his surrealistic inventiveness. He is recognized as one of the most significant painters and graphic artists of the 20th century. Chagall's personal and unique imagery is often suffused with exquisite poetic inspiration. His distinctive use of color and form is derived partly from Russian expressionism and was influenced decisively by French cubism. Crystallizing his style early on, he later developed subtle variations.

His numerous works represent characteristically vivid recollections of Russian-Jewish village scenes, as in I and the Village (1911, Museum of Modern Art, New York), and incidents in his private life, as in the print series Mein Leben (German for 'My Life', 1922), in addition to treatments of Jewish subjects, of which The Praying Jew (1914, Art Institute of Chicago) is one. Marc Chagall's work combines recollection with folklore and fantasy. Biblical themes characterize a series of etchings executed between 1925 and 1939 that illustrate the Old Testament, and the 12 stained-glass windows in the Hadassah Hospital of the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem (1962). In 1973 Musée National Message Biblique Marc Chagall (National Museum of the Marc Chagall Biblical Message) was opened in Nice, France, to house hundreds of his biblical works. Chagall also executed many prints illustrating literary classics. A canvas completed in 1964 covers the ceiling of the Opéra in Paris, and two large murals (1966) hang in the lobby of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. An exhibition of the artist's work from 1967 to 1977 was held at the Musée du Louvre, Paris, in 1977-78, and a major retrospective was held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1985. Chagall died March 28, 1985, in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France.


F. Maarschalkerweerd, 'And the winners are... Prins Bernhard, Marc Chagall, Oskar Kokoschka en de Erasmus Prijs 1960', Jaarboek Oranje-Nassau 2012, p. 175-183;
G. Morel, 'Introduction au Théâtre d'art juif de Marc Chagall', Connaissance des Arts, 651 (2007), p. 128-131;
B. Harshaw, Marc Chagall and his Times: A Documentary Narrative, Stanford 2003;
R. Carvalho de Magalhaes, 'El Greco in un Sogno di Chagall', Critica d'Arte 19 (december 2003), p. 66-80;
J. van Adrichem, De ontvangst van de moderne kunst in Nederland 1910-2000. Picasso als pars pro toto, Amsterdam 2001, p. 15;
P. Hulten [e.a.], cat.tent. Futurismo & Futurismi, Venetië (Palazzo Grassi), 1986, p. 446;
J.A. Keim, 'Chagall et les icones', Connaissance des Arts, juli 1967, p. 36-41.


Musée du Luxembourg, Paris, Chagall entre guerre et paix, 21 February 2013 - 21 July 2013;
Il Complesso del Vittoriano in Rome, Chagall of Miracles, 2007;
The Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Paris, in conjunction with Musée National Message Biblique Marc Chagall, Nice, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2003;
Futurismo & Futurismi, Venice (Palazzo Grassi), 1986;
The Royal Academy, London, 1985;
Philadelphia, United States of America, 1985;
The Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden, 1982;
The Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow, 1973;
Grand Palais, Paris, Hommage a Marc Chagall, 1969-1970;
Louvre, Paris, Message Biblique, 1967.


Work by Marc Chagall is to be found in numerous museums, among others;

Art Institute of Chicago;
Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio;
Dallas Museum of Art, Texas;
Guggenheim Museum, New York City;
Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia; 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City;
Musée National Message Biblique Marc Chagall, Nice, France;
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas;
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston;
The Museum of Modern Art, New York City;
National Gallery of Canada, Ottowa, Canada;
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice;
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco;
The family home on Pokrovskaya Street, Vitebsk, is now the Marc Chagall Museum;
The Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas, Texas;
The Marc Chagall Yufuin Kinrin-ko Museum in Yufuin, Kyushu, Japan;
The Lincoln Center, The Sources of Music and The Triumph of Music, in New York City;
Metropolitan Opera House, The Sources of Music and The Triumph of Music;

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Artist's locations

view work by Marc Chagall

Abraham pleurant Sara

Couple sur Fond Noir

L'Homme à la Thora

Les Amoureux à Saint Paul de Vence (La Fete heureuse)

Moïse et son peuple

Sur la neige

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