Born in Vitebsk, Russia in 1887, Chagall moved to Paris in 1910 where he was influenced by the Fauvists and Cubism. He went on to develop his own unique style becoming one of the major contributors to Surrealism. His primary theme has always been Jewish life and folklore in which he incorporated flower and animal symbols in unusual juxtapositions, with forms floating rather insecurely in space, his color very rich and evocative of peasant life.
In 1941 the Museum of Modern Art, New York, invited him to America where he remained until 1946. In 1961 he completed a series of stained glass windows for a synagogue near Jerusalem, followed by mosaics and tapestry for the Knesset in 1966. He also produced decorations for the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and the ceiling for the Paris Opera.
A skilled graphic artist, Chagall began making lithographs and etchings early in his career, earning the admiration and support of Ambroise Vollard (famous for his ability to find and develop talented artists) who commissioned and published some of his best and most beloved graphic works. Chagall died in 1985 following a career, which spanned eight decades and included the creation of more than 1,000 fine art prints.
Among his best-known works are ‘Les Ames Mortes’ by Gogol, ‘Les Fables de la Fontaine’, and ‘La Bible’.