Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall

1887 – 1985

Marc Chagall was born July 7, 1887, in Vitebsk, Russia. From 1907 to 1910, he studied in St. Petersburg at the Imperial Society for the Protection of the Arts and later with Leon Bakst.  In 1910 he moved to Paris, where he was associated with Guillaume Apollinaire and Robert Delaunay and encountered Fauvism and Cubism. He participated in the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon d’Automne in 1912 and held his first solo show in 1914 at Der Sturm Gallery in Berlin.

Chagall visited Russia in 1914 and was prevented from returning to Paris by the outbreak of the 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 his resignation in 1920. He moved to Moscow and executed his first stage designs for the State Jewish Chamber Theater. He returned to Paris in 1923 and his first retrospective took place in 1924 at the Galerie Barbazanges-Hodebert, Paris. In 1933, the Kunsthalle Basel held a major retrospective of his work.

During World War II, Marc 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. During the 1960s, Marc Chagall continued to travel widely, often in association with large-scale commissions he received. Among these were the windows for the synagogue of the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem, installed in 1962, a ceiling for the Paris Opera 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, and a major retrospective was held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1985. Marc Chagall died March 28, 1985, in St. Paul-de-Vence, France.

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