Marc Chagall (1887-1985) was born in Vitebsk, Russia in 1887. After studying in St Petersburg he went to Paris where he befriended the avant-garde circle of artists. In 1917 he returned to his native Vitebsk where he was made Director and Commissar of Fine Art. However, his fantasy-based work irked the conservative authorities so he left for Moscow to design for the new Jewish Theatre.
Returning to Paris in 1923 he met the art-dealer Vollard for whom he illustrated Gogol’s Dead Souls and the Fables of La Fontaine. Between 1941-47 he moved between occupied France and the USA, eventually settling near Nice. Chagall was a prolific artist, his work reminiscent of Jewish life, bible stories and of the folklore from his early years in Russia. He died in 1985.