Marc Chagall

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Chagall, Marc

(märk shəgäl`), 1887–1985, Russian painter. In 1907, Chagall left his native Vitebsk for St. Petersburg, where he studied under L. N. BakstBakst, Lev Nikolayevich
, 1868–1924, Russian scene designer and painter. His original, imaginative style and brilliant color exerted a wide influence on costume, stage setting, and the decorative arts.
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. In Paris (1910) he began to assimilate cubist characteristics into his expressionistic style in such paintings as Half-Past Three (The Poet) (1911; Philadelphia Mus. of Art). Encouraged by Bolshevik proclamations forbidding anti-Semitism and making Jews citizens, Chagall returned to Russia where he founded and became head of Vitebsk's People's Art College. There he quarreled over curriculum with Constructivists, and when Russia's persecution of Jews began again, he returned (1923) to France, where he spent most of his life (he also lived in New York).

Much of Chagall's work is rendered with an extraordinary formal inventiveness and a deceptive fairy-tale naïveté, and he is considered a forerunner of surrealismsurrealism
, literary and art movement influenced by Freudianism and dedicated to the expression of imagination as revealed in dreams, free of the conscious control of reason and free of convention.
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. His frequently repeated subject matter was drawn from Russian Jewish life and folklore; he was particularly fond of flower and animal symbols. His major early works included murals for the Jewish State Theater (now in the Tretyakov Mus., Moscow). Among his other well-known works are I and the Village (1911; Mus. of Modern Art, New York City) and The Rabbi of Vitebsk (Art Inst., Chicago). Chagall's twelve stained-glass windows, symbolizing the tribes of Israel, were exhibited in Paris and New York City before being installed (1962) in the Hadassah-Hebrew Univ. Medical Center synagogue in Jerusalem. His two vast murals for New York's Metropolitan Opera House, treating symbolically the sources and the triumph of music, were installed in 1966.

Chagall also designed the sets and costumes for Stravinsky's ballet Firebird (1945), and illustrated numerous books, including Gogol's Dead Souls, La Fontaine's Fables, and Illustrations for the Bible (1956). A museum of his work opened in Nice in 1973. His name is also spelled Shagall.


See his autobiography (1931, tr. 1989); biographies by J.-P. Crespelle (1970), S. Alexander (1978), H. Keller (1979), and J. Wullschlager (2008); studies by F. Meyer (tr. 1964), J. J. Sweeney (1946, repr. 1970), W. Haftmann (1974), and J. Wilson (2007).

Chagall, Marc


Born July 7, 1887, in Liozno, near Vitebsk. French painter and graphic artist.

Chagall studied in St. Petersburg from 1907 to 1909 with L. Bakst and others. From 1910 to 1914 he lived in Paris, where he was influenced by cubism. In 1914 he returned to Russia, where he directed the Art School in Vitebsk (from 1917) and participated in the work of the College of Fine Arts. In 1922 he emigrated, settling first in Berlin and then in Paris.

Chagall is one of the most outstanding representatives of modernism. His works are characterized by a keenly subjective perception of reality, reflecting the spiritual crisis of the intelligentsia in the West. The inspiration for most of his works has been his Jewish childhood in a small village, scenes from which he interprets in a symbolic and mystical spirit. Chagall is known for an analogous arrangement of objects in unreal space, linear sketchiness and vagueness, and fantastic and vivid color. Characteristic works are I and My Village (1911, Museum of Modern Art, New York) and Over Vitebsk (1914, private collection, Toronto). Chagall illustrated N. V. Gogol’s Dead Souls (etching, 1923–27) and the Bible (lithograph, 1931–36). He has painted a number of decorative works, including a mural for the Kamernyi Jewish Theater in Moscow (1920, Tret’iakov Gallery, Moscow), the sets for G. Balanchine’s production of I. Stravinsky’s ballet The Firebird (1944–45), and sketches for stained-glass windows for the cathedral in Metz (1958). In 1973, in connection with an exhibit of his lithographs, Chagall visted the USSR.


Ma vie. Paris, 1931.


Efros, A., and Ia. Tugendkhol’d. Iskusstvo Marka Shagala. Moscow, 1918.
Lunacharskii, A. V. “Mark Shagal.” In his book Ob izobrazitel’nom iskusstve, vol. 1. Moscow, 1961.
Meyer, F. Marc Chagall. Cologne, 1961.
Cassou, J. Chagall. Munich-Zurich, 1966.
References in periodicals archive ?
Marc Chagall on Art and Culture brings together almost forty of Chagall's own writings (although many of these selections were originally delivered orally).
The answers come from the participants themselves, many of these on camera in fascinating archival footage: Joan Miro, Marc Chagall, Jean Cocteau, Igor Stravinsky, Janet Flanner, Aaron Copland, Sylvia Beach, Marcel Duchamp, Tristan Tzara, D.
We're delighted to present our inaugural sale, which has an excellent selection of important prints and unique works by Contemporary and Modern masters including Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall and Roy Lichtenstein," says Deborah Ripley.
Stained glass windows 1967-1985 Marc Chagall, All Saints Church, Tudeley
Marc Chagall was a Russian-French artist, born in Vitebsk, Russia in 1887, as a son of Hasidic Jewish parents and the eldest in a family of nine children.
Marc Chagall and the lost Jewish world; the nature of Chagall's art and iconography.
The pair agreed to pay a total of pounds 1,188,000 for three works by Marc Chagall, two by Georges Braque and one by Jean Duffy and tried to have them shipped to the United States.
Dreamer from the Village: The Story of Marc Chagall.
One of the oldest choreography competitions is the International Festival of Modern Choreography held in Vitebsk, Belarus, homeland of painter Marc Chagall.
Marc Chagall and His Times: A Documentary Narrative Benjamin Harshav Stanford University Press, $75, 42 [pounds sterling] (cloth); $39.
The crowds that circled the block to see the major Marc Chagall exhibition earlier this fall are now quite small, leading me to wonder about the hardiness of visual appetites during these times.
The surrounding region of the Sarre valley, near the German border is particularly rich in Gallo-Roman remains, but the town's archives also include a collection of eighteenth-century porcelain and works by Marc Chagall.