If I wasn't a Jew, as I understand it, I wouldn't be
an artist, or would have been a very different artist.
Marc Chagall was born on July 7, 1887 in the small city of Vitebsk, then the Russian Empire.
He received a traditional Jewish education at home, having studied the Hebrew language, the Torah and the Talmud. From 1898 to 1905, Chagall studied at the 1st Vitebsk four-class school. In 1906, he studied fine art at the art school of the Vitebsk painter Yudel pan, then moved to St. Petersburg.
"Having taken twenty-seven rubles — the only money my father gave me for my art education in my whole life-I, a ruddy and curly-haired youth, am going to Petersburg with a friend. It's decided! Tears and pride choked me as I picked up the money from the floor — my father had thrown it under the table. I crawled and picked it up. To my father's questions, I stammered that I wanted to go to art school... I don't remember exactly what face he made or what he said. Or rather, at first he was silent, then, as usual, he warmed the samovar, poured himself some tea, and then, with his mouth full, said: "Well, go if you want. But remember, I don't have any more money. You know that. That's all I can scrape together. I will not send anything. Don't count on it."
In St. Petersburg, for two seasons, Chagall studied at the Drawing school Of the society for the encouragement of arts, which was headed by N. K. Roerich (he was admitted to the school without an exam for the third year). In 1909-1911, he continued his studies with L. S. Bakst at the private art school of E. N. Zvantseva.
In the autumn of 1909, during his stay in Vitebsk, Chagall met his future wife and the love of his life, Berta (Bella) Rosenfeld. The love theme in Chagall's work is always associated with the image of Bella. From paintings of all periods of his work, including the later (after the death of Bella), her "bulging black eyes"look at us. Her features are recognizable in the faces of almost all the women depicted by him.
In 1911, Chagall went to Paris on a scholarship, where he continued to study and met artists and avant-garde poets who lived in the French capital. This is where he first started using the personal name mark. In the summer of 1914, the artist came to Vitebsk to meet his family and see Bella. But the war began and the return to Europe was postponed indefinitely. On July 25, 1915, Chagall and Bella were married. In 1916, they had a daughter, IDA, who later became a biographer and researcher of her father's work.
In August 1910, Maxim Vinaver, a member of the state Duma in 1905 and a patron of the arts, offers the artist a scholarship that allows him to go to study in Paris. Upon arrival, Moisha Segal takes a creative pseudonym.
Now he is Marc Chagall, in the French manner.