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Marc Chagall Quotes

Marc Chagall
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Marc Zakharovich Chagall
  • Born: 7th July 1887, Liozna, Vitebsk, Russian Empire
  • Died: 28th March 1985, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France
  • Alma mater: Vitebsk Art School, Zvantseva School of Drawing and Académie de La Palette
  • Occupation: Artist and painter
  • Nationality: Russian and later French
  • Movement: Cubism and Expressionism
  • Marriage resume: Bella Rosenfeld 1915 - 1944 (her death) and Valentina Brodsky 1952 - 1993 (his death)
  • Influenced by: Albert Gleizes, Andre Dunoyer de Segonzac, Henri Le Fauconnier, Henri Matisse, Jean Metzinger, Paul Gauguin and Yehuda Pen
  • Notable works: I And The Village (1911), The Fiddler (1913), Self Portrait With Seven Fingers (1913), Paris Through The Window (1913), The Promenade (1918) and White Crucifixion (1938)

"Time is a river without banks"

Marc Chagall

"The stars were my best friends. The air was full of legends and phantoms, full of mythical and fair-tale creatures, which suddenly flew away over the roof, so that one was at one with the firmament"

Marc Chagall

"France is a picture already painted. America still has to be painted. Maybe that's why I feel freer there. But when I work in America, it's like shouting in a forest. There's no echo"

Marc Chagall

"The sun has only ever shone for me in France I have got used to beating the streets of Paris, happy beyond words dreaming of a life 125 years long"

Marc Chagall

"I painted everything that met my eyes. I painted at my window; I never walked down the street without my box of paint"

Marc Chagall

"My works are dear to me, each in its own way, I shall have to answer for them on the Day of Judgement"

Marc Chagall

"It's only my town, mine, which I have rediscovered. I come back to it with emotion"

Marc Chagall

"No academy could have given me all I discovered by getting my teeth into the exhibitions, the shop windows, and the museums of Paris"

Marc Chagall

"We are afraid to plunge into chaos, to shatter and overthrow beneath our feet the familiar surface"

Marc Chagall

"It was as if Russian art had been fatally condemned to remain in the wake of the West"

Marc Chagall

"Let them eat their fill of their square pears on their triangular tables"

Marc Chagall

"When I painted Christ's parents I was thinking of my own parents"

Marc Chagall

"If Marx is so wise, let him come back to life and explain it himself"

Marc Chagall

"To each tree its berries, but let it be a tree and not a donkey"

Marc Chagall

"Art seems to me to be a state of soul more than anything else"

Marc Chagall
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Marc Chagall Biography

Marc Chagall was the last of the original European masters of modern art and his distinctive style was quite unique in the disciplines of the brush he mastered. After a happy upbringing in his home town of Vitebsk (in what is now Belarus) where his Jewish roots had a major influence on his thinking, he learnt the fundamentals of art from copying images from books in the schools library.

He was so absorbed by artwork he knew that was all he ever wanted to do so he implored his parents to allow him to enter the local art school. He later progressed to study at a St Petersburg art school but nothing would stimulate his artistic imagination as his next destination was to be the capital of the art world Paris.

It was here he experimented with different mediums such as etchings, gouache, murals and watercolors whilst steeping himself in the movements of Cubism, Surrealism and Symbolism. Chagall's artistic prowess saw him master all the modern media styles but then he used them all in his own unique way by adding the influence of his upbringing and background into everything he created.

Some of his results were wondrous and even Pablo Picasso was taken aback as he was quoted as saying about Marc Chagall: "I don't know where he gets those images; he must have an angel in his head", high praise indeed from one of the greatest masters of modern art.

Many of his paintings were destroyed during the Nazi nightmare of 1930's Europe and he was forced to flee his French home to America using forged documents to escape the Adolf Hitler Nazi death camps. He didn't settle so well in the U.S. and he lost his beloved wife Bella Rosenfeld in 1944 and he was then stunned to learn that the Germans had razed his home town (Vitebsk) to the ground.

After the war ended he returned to France although he never quite summoned the great paintings of his earlier career he still made his mark with some wondrous work as a stained glass artist in synagogues and cathedrals across Europe and the U.S.

In 2017 a Chagall masterpiece from 1928 sold at Sotheby's auction house in New York for $28.5 million USD. The subject of the painting was his beautiful wife Bella Rosenfeld who posed for many other of his famous works such as "Bella With White Collar" from 1917. Away from the canvas he was good for a one liner also so this is compilation of 15 of the best Marc Chagall quotes

Quotes About Marc Chagall

Art critic Henry McBride saw his work come alive: "His colours sparkle with poetry... his work is authentically Russian as a Volga boatman's song"

The French poet André Breton described him thus: "With him alone, the metaphor made its triumphant return to modern painting"

Pablo Picasso was moved to say this of his contemporary: "When Henri Matisse dies, Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what colour really is ... Some of the last thing's he's done in Venice convince me that there's never been anybody since Renoir who has the feeling for light that Chagall has"

Museum director Jean-Michel Foray said this of his biblical works: "Some art historians have sought to decrypt his symbols, but there's no consensus on what they mean. We cannot interpret them because they are simply part of his world, like figures from a dream"

Marc Chagall image quote