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An early modernist, he was associated with several major artistic styles and created works in virtually every artistic format, including painting, book illustrations, stained glass, stage sets, ceramic, tapestries and fine art prints.
Art critic Robert Hughes referred to Chagall as "the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century" (though Chagall saw his work as "not the dream of one people but of all humanity"). Lewis, Chagall was considered to be "the last survivor of the first generation of European modernists".
Using the medium of stained glass, he produced windows for the cathedrals of Reims and Metz, windows for the UN, and the Jerusalem Windows in Israel.There he said his usual prayer for some dead man or other. From the late 18th century to the First World War, the Russian government confined Jews to living within the Pale of Settlement, which included modern Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia, almost exactly corresponding to the territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth recently taken over by Imperial Russia.On his return he made ready the samovar, drank some tea and went to work. This caused the creation of Jewish market-villages (shtetls) throughout today's Eastern Europe, with their own markets, schools, hospitals, and other community institutions.He also did large-scale paintings, including part of the ceiling of the Paris Opéra.
Before World War I, he travelled between Saint Petersburg, Paris, and Berlin.At the age of 13, his mother tried to enroll him in a Russian high school, and he recalled, "But in that school, they don't take Jews.Without a moment's hesitation, my courageous mother walks up to a professor." She offered the headmaster 50 roubles to let him attend, which he accepted.During a pogrom, Chagall wrote that: "The street lamps are out.