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Though Marc Chagall’s work bares the formal influence of Cubism, Fauvism, and Symbolism, he steered away from total abstraction, and instead held fast to representation by proving its potency with a distinctly narrative approach. Dreamlike color and folkloric imagery pervade throughout Chagall’s oeuvre comprised of painting, printmaking, and book illustration.
Clearly influenced by Byzantine and Russian icon painting and folk art, he wished his own mythological floating figures and symbolism to be interpreted freely. Chagall loved life. He loved the circus, he loved the Bible and found the same human paradox in both—joy mixed with tragedy, beauty with sadness. The poetic and biblical inspirations of Chagall’s art have always appealed to a broad public, and his works are collected, exhibited and admired all over the world."
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.