Moyshe Shegal also known in the art world as Russia’s very own Marc Chagall (1887-1985) was born in Belarus to pious Yiddush speaking parents. Admittedly scared of growing up, he grew up to be one of the most sought out artists in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Between creating whimsical images (Sirène au Pine); moreover, images that can be interpreted as painted dreams manifested into visible works of art, combined with influences from his Jewish heritage (the Exodus series), Chagall’s work is mysterious, romantic, and often allegorical. His creations often include at least one of the following: musical instruments (The Magic Flute), lovers (Dawn at Saint Paul), or flowers (Le Bouquet Rouge).
His brilliant use of colour can be understood as influenced by French Fauvist artists and it too can be seen as influenced by the movement Orphism (orphism was founded by two Jewish artists, Robert and Sonia Delaunay and is noted for its use of geometric shapes and strong colours). Chagall was known to be a recluse but when he was not by himself or with his wife, he favoured the company of other Jewish artists. While it can be true that he to this day does not fit into any specific art movement or better yet any “ism,” his portfolio, in which he created in his lifetime over 10,000 pieces, is still recognized as some of the greatest pieces of Modern Art.
View prints by Marc Chagall here.