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Marc Chagall was born Moishe/Marc Shagal in Liozne, near Vitebsk, in modern day Belarus, in 1887. He was a Russian-French-Jewish artist of international repute who, arguably, was one of the most influential modernist artists of the 20th Century, both as an early modernist, and as an important part of the Jewish artistic tradition. He distinguished himself in many arenas: as a painter, book illustrator, ceramicist, stained-glass painter, stage set designer and tapestry maker. Widely admired by both his contemporaries, and by later artists, he forged his creative path in spite of the many difficulties and injustices he faced in his long lifetime. Chagall's early life in the schetl with his Hasidic Jew parents was a strong influence on his work throughout his life. He carried a Russian mysticism, and an intrinsic understanding of and sympathy for his religious roots wherever he travelled.