Marc Chagall was born in 1887 to a poor Jewish family in Russia. He was the eldest of nine children. Chagall began to display his artistic talent while studying at a secular Russian school, and despite his father’s disapproval, in 1907 he began studying art with Leon Bakst in St. Petersburg. In 1910, Chagall moved to Paris where he was influenced by leading cubist, surrealist and fauvist painters. During this period, Chagall developed a style that is known the trademark of his art. In 1914, Chagall held a one-man exhibition in Berlin, exhibiting work dominated by Jewish images. In addition to images of the Hassidic world, Chagall's paintings are inspired by themes from the Bible.
Chagall left Russia in 1922 and moved to France, where he lived permanently except from 1941-1948 when he fled the Holocaust for the United States. Chagall's horror over the Nazi rise to power is expressed in works depicting Jewish martyrs and refugees. Chagall is best known as a pioneer of modernism and as a major Jewish artist.
Working in multiple mediums, Chagall's legacy lives on in through his stained glass windows for Hadassah Hospital in Israel, the United Nations building windows, St. Stephen's church in Mainz, Germany and All Saints' Church, Tudeley, UK. Chagall passed away on March 28, 1985.