Marc Chagall was one of eight children born to a Russian-Jewish family in Vitebsk, Belarus. Whilst growing up Chagall experienced Fauvism and Cubism but soon he developed his very own poetic style. Besides his paintings and stained-glass windows he created a rich plethora of prints. As colour was of such great essence for his work, lithography became the artist's favourite technique. Chagall was already 35 years old when he started with printmaking techniques. At that time he lived in Berlin, Germany and created many woodcuts, etchings and lithographs.
In 1923 Chagall received commissions by the art dealer Vollard to illustrate Gogol's book The Dead Souls, La Fontaine's Fables and the Bible. For all three series, the technique of etching was used. In 1941 Chagall went into exile from Nazi occupied France to the United States. In 1946, the New York Museum of Modern Art held a huge retrospective exhibition of Chagall's prints and paintings. The exhibition was a big success and was later shown in Chicago.
1947 saw Chagall return to France and embark on a completely new era in his printmaking activities. At the age of 63, collaborating with the publisher Mourlot in Paris, Chagall more or less learned the art of making lithographs from scratch - like an apprentice. The teacher of this gifted 'apprentice' was Charles Sorlier, a professional and exceptionally talented printer. Under the guidance of Sorlier, Chagall worked regularly in the printing studio of Mourlot.
By the end of his life the artist had created more than one thousand prints - mainly lithographs and etchings. He died at the age of 98 on March 28, 1985 in Saint-Paul in France.