Marc Chagall, Mark Zakharovich Shagal, born on July 6, 1887 in Lozno near Vitebsk to a poor Hasidic family as Mojsha Zakharovich Shagalov; died on March 28, 1985 in Saint-Paul de Vence. Russian painter and printmaker of Jewish descent with Russian and French citizenship. The original spelling of the artist’s name was Segal, this is the so-called. Levitical surname, an acronym from the Hebrew Segan Levi (Hebrew: סגן לוי) – superior of the Levites.
Chagall took his first painting lessons from local teacher Yehuda Peña. At the age of 19, he went to St. Petersburg, where he began studying at the School of the Tsarist Society for the Propagation of Art with Nikolai Roerich, and then from 1908 to 1910 at the private school of Yelizaveta Zwanceva with Leon Bakst.
In the summer of 1908, he created his first significant work, “Death,” in which some Gauguin influence was evident.
In 1910, Chagall received a scholarship enabling him to go to Paris. In 1915, he married Bella Rosenfeld, with whom he had a daughter, Ida. In 1922, he left Russia, stopping briefly in Berlin. The reason for the departure was Chagall’s Jewish background and the subject matter of his works, which did not praise Soviet heroism. In 1935, he arrived in Poland. Two years later, he received French citizenship. From this period comes a series of articles, poetry and memoirs written in Yiddish, which appeared mainly in the press. Only after the artist’s death were they published in book form. In 1941, he and his family moved to the US. He was aided in his escape from Marseille by American journalist Varian Fry, possibly saving his life. Chagall settled in New York, where he lived until 1948. The painter’s wife Bella, who appeared in many of his paintings, died on September 2, 1944. A year later, Chagall became involved with housekeeper Virginia Haggard McNeil, with whom he had a son David. In the 1950s. In the 1970s, they moved to a villa in Provence, France. Virginia left Chagall in 1952. On June 12 of the same year, he married for the second time to Valentine Brodsky, whom he used to call Vava. In 1966, the couple moved to Saint-Paul de Vence. The painter died on March 28, 1985 in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France. He was also buried here.
Chagall’s very distinctive paintings mainly deal with themes such as love and the joy of life. The characters are often crooked and twisted. The artist also created sculptures, ceramics and stained glass.