“If I create from the heart, nearly everything works;
if from the head, almost nothing.”
Marc Chagall (1887 – 1985)
Marc Chagall is one of the most internationally recognised artists of the 20th Century. His figurative and poetic style made him one of the most distinct Modernists. His peers often had ambitious experiments that led to abstraction, while Chagall kept his belief in figurative art, despite absorbing elements from Fauvism and Cubism.
Chagall was born to a Jewish family in 1887 in Vitebsk, a city in the Russian Empire. At the time, Jewish children were not allowed to attend regular Russian Schools, however with a passport from a friend he managed to get into a prestigious art school in St. Petersburg. In 1910, Chagall left Russia for Paris to develop his style in the world’s art capital. Here he developed friendships with Delaunay and Léger.
Chagall lived through the Russian Revolution and two World Wars. In the Second World War he and his family had to escape the Vichy Regime. They found safety in New York. Tragically, Chagall lost his wife and the love of his life Bella in the last year of the war to a long infection. The remainder of his life, Bella would be the subject of his nostalgic, dreamy art. Chagall died at the age of 97, in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, 1985.