Marc Chagall (July 7, 1887 - March 28, 1985) was a Russian painter of Jewish origin. He was born Moishe Zakharovich Shagalov in Vitsebsk, Belarus. He was one of the most important artists of surrealism, and in his works can be seen the resonance of fantasy and dreams. He left Russia to join the gathering of artists in the Montparnasse Quarter of Paris, France. With the German occupation of France during World War II, and the deportation of Jews to the Nazis death camps Marc Chagall had to flee from France. With the assistance of the American journalist Varian Fry he hid at Villa Air-Bel in Marseilles before Fry helped him escape from France.
Major works include "I and the Village" (1911), "Green Violinist" (1923-24, Guggenheim Museum, New York), "The Birthday" (1915), "Solitude" (1933, Tel-Aviv Museum). Today, a Chagall painting can sell for more than US$6 million. His work can be found in the Paris Opera, First National Bank Plaza of downtown Chicago, New York Metropolitan Opera House, cathedral of Metz France, and a small church in Mainz. He died on March 28, 1985 and is buried in the Saint Paul Town Cemetery, Saint-Paul de Vence (near Nice), France.