Marc Chagall was a Russian-born French artist who received impressive critical acclaim during his lifetime, even while facing tremendous personal challenges. He is primarily known for his love of fantasy and fantastic ability to incorporate his own emotional landscape into his paintings.
Chagall was born in 1887 in the city of Vitebsk. He was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family, which had a considerable impact on his life and paintings. In his early life, Chagall was inspired by the bold colors and styles of legendary artists such as Matisse and Van Gogh. Unlike many other artists at that time, Chagall was particularly entranced by themes of fantasy and theater. His lifelong love for fantasy is clearly demonstrated in his paintings, often incorporating mythical and romantic elements.
Chagall met his future first wife, Bella Rosenfeld, in 1906. Their relationship blossomed quickly and Chagall featured their passionate love frequently in his paintings. This type of personal expression soon became tradition for Chagall, often using his art as a way to express his own internal feelings.
As the Second World War approached, Chagall’s life was uprooted. At this point, he was considered a prominent Jewish artist and was therefore targeted by the Nazi Party. In 1937 Nazi groups stormed German museums and destroyed legendary Jewish artwork, including those of Chagall. The active danger that he faced during this time forced him to flee the country, finding refuge in America.
Even while facing vehement persecution, Marc Chagall persevered and ultimately became one of the most influential painters of all time. He left behind a legacy of unwavering courage, emotional vulnerability, and bold expression.