Marc Chagall, Romantic Surrealist Painter, At The Easel In 1934

June 24, 2021

In this picture, taken by Roger Viollet, Marc Chagall works on a painting in France in August 1934, shortly after the Nazis took power. The image, colorized by Duriez, captures the essence of one of Pablo Picasso’s remarks: “When Matisse dies, Chagall will be the only painter who understands what colour really is.” As an artist, he used color to show movement and rhythm, and he typically did not overuse colors, but relied on a few which he blended together. 

Colorized by Duriez.

Marc Chagall, who was born Moishe Shagal on July 6, 1887 in a Lithuanian Jewish Hassidic family in Liozna in Belarus. Chagall was an early modernist and was associated with several artistic styles. He worked in a wide range of artistic mediums, including painting, drawings, book illustrations, ceramics, tapestries, and fine art prints. He also worked on large scale projects, creating stained glass windows for the cathedrals of Reims and Metz, the UN, and the Art Institute of Chicago. He also painted part of the ceiling of the Paris Opera.

His Introduction To Art

FRANCE - CIRCA 1934: Marc Chagall (1887-1985), French painter. August 1934. (Photo by Roger Viollet via Getty Images/Roger Viollet via Getty Images)

He had his early education at the local Jewish religious school. At 13, Chagall’s mother paid a headmaster at a regular high school to allow him to attend. He had his artistic awakening when he saw a classmate drawing as there was no art in his home, and when Chagall asked the classmate how he learned to draw, the classmate told him to just choose a picture and copy. He decided he wanted to become a painter and took classes for a few months at a drawing school. Chagall made the choice to integrate his Jewish roots into his artwork.