Nationality: Russian-born French painter
Bio: Born to a humble Jewish family in the ghetto of a large town in White Russia, Chagall passed a childhood steeped in Hasidic culture. Very early in life he was encouraged by his mother to follow his vocation and she managed to get him into a St Petersburg art school.
In 1910, set off for Paris, 'the Mecca of art'. He was a tenant at La Ruche, where he had Modigliani and Soutine for
neighbors. His Slav
Expressionism was tinged with the influence of Daumier, Jean-Francois Millet, the Nabis and the
Fauves. He was also influenced by
Cubism. Essentially a colourist, Chagall was interested in the Simultaneist vision of Robert Delaunay and the Luminists of the Section d'Or.
Chagall flirted briefly with
Surrealism during his exile in New York (1941-48). He
later settled in the south of France, first at Vence (1950), then in Saint-Paul-de-Vence (1966). Commissions poured in: for the Assy baptistery in 1957, the cathedrals of Metz (1960) and Rheims (1974), the Hebrew University Medical Centre synagogue in Jerusalem (1960), the Paris Opera (1963).