In honor of Marc Chagall’s birthday, we are revisiting a post originally published last year honoring the artist’s life and work.
Today marks the birthday of one of the art world’s most beloved Marcs — Marc Chagall. The painter reached the hearts and imaginations of people worldwide with his expressive paintings that simultaneously harnessed the spirit of the avant-garde and the warmth of tradition. As Michael Kimmelman wrote in The New York Times: “the young Chagall had one foot in the modern world, his other in the shtetl.” The talented soul would turn 126 if he were still with us today.
Chagall was born in the then-Russian neighborhood of Liozna (present day Belarus). As the oldest of nine children, Chagall grew up in a tight-knit Hasidic Jewish family where tradition played a heavy role. The mystical nature of Hasidic Judaism is evident in Chagall’s imagery all throughout his life.