Marc Chagall (July 7, 1887 – March 28, 1985)
"In our life there is a single color, as on an artist's palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love." – Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall was a Belarusian-French painter of Jewish origin. He is associated with several different Modernist art movements of the 20th century. Chagall took inspiration from Belarusian folk-life, and portrayed many Biblical themes that reflected his Jewish heritage. In the 1960s and 1970s, Chagall engaged in a series of large-scale projects involving public spaces and important civic and religious buildings.
Chagall's artworks are difficult to categorize. Working in the pre-World War I Paris art world, he was involved with avant-garde currents, however, his work was consistently on the fringes of popular art movements and emerging trends, including Cubism and Fauvism, among others. He was closely associated with the Paris School and its exponents, including Amedeo Modigliani.
Abounding with references to his childhood, Chagall's work has also been criticized for slighting some of the turmoil which he experienced. He communicates happiness and optimism to those who view his work strictly in terms of his use of highly vivid colors. Chagall often posed himself, sometimes together with his wife, as an observer of a colored world like that seen through a stained-glass window. Some see The White Crucifixion, which is rich with intriguing detail, as a denunciation of the Stalin regime, the Nazi Holocaust, and the oppression of Jews in general.
Several of Chagall's works show a violinist either floating in mid-air above a village or apparently sitting on the edge of a peaked roof. This inspired the title of the popular musical "Fiddler on the Roof."