Using love for his inspiration, artist Marc Chagall (1887-1985) was born Mark Zakharovich Shagal, the eldest of eight, on this day in the Russian village of Vitsyebsk.
"My father...for thirty-two years, simply a laborer," he said. "He lifted heavy barrels and my heart used to twist like a Turkish bagel as I watched him lift those weights."
Like many artists of his time, Chagall moved to Paris in 1910 to hone his craft. "In Paris... I have found everything,"he said. "I owe all that I have achieved to Paris, to France, whose nature, men, the very air, were the true school of my life and art."
Writer Henry Miller once described Marc Chagall as a "poet with the wings of a painter." With the marriage of Russian expressionism and French cubism, Chagall's paintings celebrated Yiddish folklore and traditions.
"Art is the unceasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers and never succeeding," he said.
His long and prolific career featured two large murals in the foyer of New York's Metropolitan Opera House (1966) and the 12 stained-glass windows of the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem (1962). At age 90, he became the first living artist to be exhibited at the Louvre.
"When I'm finishing a picture I hold some God-made object up to it -- a rock, a flower, or a tree branch -- as a final test," he explained. "If the painting stands up beside a thing man cannot make, the painting is authentic. If there's a clash, it's bad art."
More Art & Artists Quotations
Let love be your inspiration.