Marc Chagall 1887 —1985




Art is the increasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers - and never succeeding.
Color is all. When color is right, form is right. Color is everything, color is vibration like music; everything is vibration.

- Marc Chagall


Marc Chagall (Yiddish: מאַרק שאַגאַל‎; Belarusian: Мойша Захаравіч Шагалаў Mojša Zaharavič Šagałaŭ; Russian: Марк Захарович Шага́л Mark Zakharovich Shagal) (7 July 1887 - 28 March 1985) was a Russian-Belarusian-French painter of Jewish origin, who was born in Belarus, at that time part of the Russian Empire. He is associated with the modern movements after Impressionism.

Marc Chagall was born July 7, 1887, in Vitebsk, Russia. From 1907 to 1910, he studied in Saint Petersburg, at the Imperial Society for the Protection of the Arts and later with Léon Bakst. In 1910, he moved to Paris for four years, where he associated with Guillaume Apollinaire and Robert Delaunay and encountered Fauvism more and Cubism more.  It was during this period that he painted some of his most famous paintings of the Jewish village, and developed the features that became recognizable trademarks of his art. Strong and bright colors began to portray the world in a dreamlike state. Fantasy, nostalgia, and religion began to fuse together to create otherworldly images.

He participated in the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon d'Automne in 1912. His first solo show was held in 1914 at Der Sturm gallery in Berlin.

Chagall visited Russia in 1914, and was prevented from returning to Paris by the outbreak of war. He settled in Vitebsk, where he was appointed Commissar for Art in 1918. He founded the Vitebsk Popular Art School and directed it until disagreements with the Suprematists resulted in his resignation in 1920. He moved to Moscow and executed his first stage designs for the State Jewish Chamber Theater there. After a sojourn in Berlin, Chagall returned to Paris in 1923 and met Ambroise Vollard. His first retrospective took place in 1924 at the Galerie Barbazanges-Hodebert, Paris.
During the 1930s, he traveled to Palestine, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland, and Italy. In 1933, the Kunsthalle Basel held a major retrospective of his work.

During World War II, Chagall fled to the United States. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, gave him a retrospective in 1946. He settled permanently in France in 1948 and exhibited in Paris, Amsterdam, and London. During 1951, he visited Israel and executed his first sculptures. The following year, the artist traveled in Greece and Italy. During the 1960s, Chagall continued to travel widely, often in association with large-scale commissions he received. Among these were windows for the synagogue of the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, installed in 1962; a ceiling for the Paris Opéra, installed in 1964; a window for the United Nations building, New York, installed in 1964; murals for the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, installed in 1967; and windows for the cathedral in Metz, France, installed in 1968. An exhibition of the artist's work from 1967 to 1977 was held at the Musée du Louvre, Paris, in 1977-78 (a very rare occurance for a living artist), 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.

An important source for modern and contemporary American & European Art in East Hampton, New York & worldwide, Janet Lehr Fine Arts' spectacular wide-ranging inventory consists of unique paintings, drawings, large & small scale sculpture, monotypes, prints and photographs  by Ansel Adams, Milton Avery, Richard Avedon, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Romare Bearden, Fernando Botero, Cartier-Bresson, Marc Chagall, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Willem De Kooning, Richard Diebenkorn, Thomas Eakins, Childe Hassam, David Hockney, Winslow Homer, Wolf Kahn, Jeff Koons, Fernand Leger, Roy Lichtenstein, Man Ray, Thomas Moran, Henry Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Rothko, Cindy Sherman, Charles Sheeler, Bert Stern, Alfred Stieglitz, Andy Warhol, Carleton E Watkins, Tom Wesselmann and Andrew Wyeth.

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View synoptic biography below.


Synoptic Biography

1887    Born: July 7, Vitebsk, Russia
1907 - 1910    Studied at the Imperial Society for the Protection of the Arts; Saint Petersburg
1918    Appointed Commissar for Art, founded the Vitebsk Popular Art School
1927    Recognized as a leading painter of the School of Paris and founding member of the Association des Peintres-Graveurs
1939    Awarded first prize by the Carnegie Foundation, Pittsburgh
1948    Awarded the Grand Prix de Gravure at the Venice Biennale
1959    Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters
1965    Awarded an Honorary Degree by Notre-Dame University, Indiana
1977    Awarded the Grand Cross of the Legion d'Honneur
1985    Died: March 28, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France
Selected Exhibitions

2008    Marc Chagall, MAN - Museo d'Arte di Nuoro, Nuoro
2007    Marc Chagall: The Bible Series, Louisiana Art & Science Museum, Baton Rouge, LA
2006    Marc Chagall, Tale Art Museum, Lillestrom
1985    Marc Chagall: Retrospectives; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; Royal Academy, London
1983    Oeuvres sur papier exhibition: National Museum of Modern Art, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
1982    Marc Chagall: Retrospectives; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Louisianer Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark
1977 - 1978    Marc Chagall: The artist's work from 1967 to 1977; Musée du Louvre, Paris
1974    Marc Chagall: Retrospective of engraved works (prints); National Gallery, East Berlin and Dresden
1970    Hommage a Marc Chagall; Musee du Grand-Palais, Paris
1967    Marc Chagall: Retrospectives; Zurich, Cologne and the Maeght Foundation in Saint-Paul-de-Vence
1963    Marc Chagall: Retrospective; National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
1959    Marc Chagall: Retrospective; Museum of Decorative Arts, Palais du Louvre, Paris
1951    Marc Chagall: Retrospective; Jerusalem
1947    Marc Chagall: Retrospective; Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris
1946    Marc Chagall: Retrospective; Museum of Modern Art, New York
1942    Artists in Exile; New York
1938    Marc Chagall: Retrospective; Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels
1933    Marc Chagall: Retrospective; Kunsthalle Basel, Basel
1926    Marc Chagall: Solo Exhibition; Reinhardt Gallery, New York
1924    Marc Chagall: Retrospective; Galerie Barbazanges-Hodebert, Paris
1913    Marc Chagall: Solo Exhibition; Der Sturm Gallery, Berlin
1912    Participated in the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon d'Automne; Paris, France

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