Marc Chagall is without doubt one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. He created a unique world full of pathos, poetry, humor and enchantment, drawing on vivid memories of his childhood in what is today Belorus.
During a 1944 interview Chagall said, “For me a picture is a plane surface covered with representations of objects-beasts, birds, or humans in a certain order in which anecdotal illustrational logic has no importance. The visual effectiveness of the painted composition comes first. Every extra-structural consideration is secondary. I am against the terms fantasy and symbolism in themselves. All our interior world is reality. Perhaps more so than our apparent world. To call everything that appears illogical, fantasy, fairy tale or chimera would be practically to admit not understanding nature.”
Clearly influenced by Byzantine and Russian icon painting and folk art, he wished his own mythological floating figures and symbolism to be interpreted freely. Chagall loved life. He loved the circus, he loved the Bible and found the same human paradox in both—joy mixed with tragedy, beauty with sadness. The poetic and biblical inspirations of Chagall’s art have always appealed to a broad public, and his works are collected, exhibited and admired all over the world.