Marc Chagall was born July 7, 1887, in Vitebsk, Russia. From 1907 to 1910, he studied in St. Petersburg at the Imperial Society for the Protection of the Arts and later under Léon Bakst. In 1910, he moved to Paris, where he became associated with Guillaume Apollinaire and Robert Delaunay and encountered Fauvism and Cubism. He participated in the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon d’Automne in 1912. His first solo show was held in 1914 at Der Sturm gallery in Berlin.
Chagall returned to Russia during the war, settling in Vitebsk, where he was appointed Commissar for Art in 1918. He founded the Vitebsk Popular Art School and was its director until disagreements with members of the Suprematist movement resulted in his resignation in 1920. He moved to Moscow and executed his first stage designs for the Moscow State Jewish Theater. After a sojourn in Berlin, Chagall returned to Paris in 1923 and met Ambroise Vollard. His first retrospective took place in 1924 at the Galerie Barbazanges-Hodebert in Paris. In the 1930s he traveled to Palestine, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland, and Italy. In 1933, the Kunsthalle Basel held a major retrospective of his work.
Chagall fled to the United States during World War II. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, gave him a retrospective in 1946. He settled permanently in France in 1948 and exhibited in Paris, Amsterdam, and London. In 1951, he visited Israel and executed his first sculptures. The following year, he traveled to Greece and Italy. During the 1960s, Chagall completed large number of large-scale commissions, including the windows for the synagogue of the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem, in 1962; a ceiling for the Paris Opéra in 1964; a window for the United Nations building, New York, in 1964; murals for the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, in 1967; and windows for Metz Cathedral, in 1968. An exhibition of Chagal's work from 1967 to 1977 was held at the Musée du Louvre in 1977–78, and a major retrospective was held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1985. Chagall died on March 28, 1985, in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France.