(1889 - 1985) Russian - born French painter. From his earliest expressionistic paintings (scenes of village life among Russian Jews), Chagall developed an individual style of great poetry and brightness. Following his arrival in Paris in 1910, he adapted cubist principles to his highly imaginative works of fantasy, which depicted such things as a pair of lovers floating over or nesting in large bouquets of flowers. In the early 1920s he produced some of his famous illustrations, notably for Gogol's Dead Souls (1948) and the Fables of La Fontaine (1952). As he survived two world wars and the Russian Revolution, Chagall increasingly introduced social and religious elements into his art, painting numerous crucifixions and such monumental works as the twelve stained - glass panels installed in the synagogue of Jerusalem's Hadassa Medical Center in 1962. He also painted a ceiling in the Paris Opera in 1964 and an enormous mural for the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center in New York City in 1966.
He wrote Ma Vie (1931; translated as My Life, 1957), and illustrated many books, including The Arabian Nights, Stories from Boccaccio, and the Bible.