Painter, stained-glass painter, sculptor, illustrator, draughtsman, commercial artist and set designer
Marc Chagall was born into a Jewish-Russian family in Vitebsk, Russia, in 1887. Local Jewish culture and elements of Russian folklore and literature became integral features of his work. He studied at the academy in St Petersburg. During his first sojourn in Paris between 1910 and 1914 he became acquainted with contemporary artists and art movements, especially Fauvism and Cubism. His first solo exhibition was held in the Sturm Gallery in Berlin in 1914. The First World War broke out while he was visiting his family in Russia for a few months, and it prevented him from returning to the West until 1922. With his participation in important exhibitions he made a name for himself as a representative of the Russian avant-garde. In Moscow he devoted himself to theatre projects. He married in 1915 and returned to Paris in 1923. In addition to painting, he now began making prints and illustrations and creating church windows. In 1941 he emigrated with his wife, Bella Rosenfeld, to New York. After her death in 1944 he stopped working for several months. From 1948 on he was back in France, and between 1947 and 1951 several retrospectives were held. In 1967 he moved with his second wife to Saint-Paul-de-Vence, where he died in 1985.