He became interested in art at an early age and lived in Russia from 1906-1910 where he studied art at the Zvantseva School of Drawing and Painting.
He then moved to Paris to develop his own style that focused on colours and creating emotional art from within. Chagall would live around the world throughout his life as it was disrupted by both World Wars and societal opinions on the Jewish people.
While challenging, this only would have added to the creative mind behind Chagall's unique pieces. Chagall wanted his style to be unique and not associated with any other existing art movements.
He did this very well as his combinations of dreamy scenes, pleasing colours and various quirky motifs created one of a kind paintings. His painting Concert (1957) is no exception. It can be considered a culmination of Chagall's years of work full of his various sources of inspiration.
Chagall often created human-animal hybrids, which can be seen at the bottom of the painting. The pair at the bottom as well as the other figure beside them appear to be part human and part fish; they are similar to mermaids. Chagall often featured fish motifs in his paintings out of respect for his father as he worked for a herring merchant in their hometown.
There are also two other figures in the painting that are obvious animal-human hybrids: the bird-like one playing a fiddle and the figure with the head of a goat that is also playing a fiddle. The rest of the figures in the painting appear to be just humans but they all are characteristic of Chagall's fluid, almost ghost-like figures.
The most important figures in the painting seem to be the couple in pink in the middle of the canvas. The couple appear to be riding in a small boat along a river enjoying the view of Paris. Paris was a source of inspiration for Chagall and is often seen in his paintings, including Concert. The Eiffel Tower can be seen on the right side with other buildings from the city.
One appears to be the Arc de Triomphe. Chagall lived in Paris from 1910-1914 and then on and off again from 1923-1941. Incorporating this set of lovers gives this painting a romantic feel as well as a dream-like one. The full moon shining on the scene also amplifies the romance.
One major influence on Chagall's art comes from his childhood because he grew up in a town centered around Hasidic Judaism culture and spirituality. Chagall embraced this and chose to publicly express his origins through his art. For this painting, his pride is shown through the use of musical instruments and the concert theme.
Music was very important to the Jewish culture in which he grew up. Fiddlers were often found in his hometown and there are many of them in this painting; they can be seen in the top left corner in red.
There are also other types of instruments and musicians to express the idea of a concert. There is an individual clarinet player by the Eiffel Tower scene and percussion musicians to the left of the couple.
With these groups as a whole, one can truly get the sense of an orchestra serenading the couple as they enjoy a lovely evening in Paris.
Concert was painted later in Chagall's career when he was also busy doing other projects, including set decorating, sculpture, ceramics and stained glass windows.
This did not slow him down. He had a very lucrative career in various artistic formats and left a significant legacy in all of these realms. Concert is currently part of a private collection.