> Le musée et ses collections > Marc Chagall, biography > 1923-1939 : the interwar period, in Paris
The interwar period, in Paris
In 1923, Chagall returned to Paris with his family and began to work for the great art dealer Vollard, who commissioned illustrated engravings from him for Gogol’s Dead Souls and then La Fontaine’s Fables.
He travelled around France with his family, depicting its landscapes in drawings and a wide array of delightful gouache paintings.
By the 1930s, his artistic influence began to hark more from Impressionism and the ambient return to Classicism.
In 1931, he was invited to Palestine by the Mayor of Tel Aviv with a view to founding a Jewish Art Museum. On his return, he created 40 gouache paintings to illustrate the Bible in engravings, once again for Vollard. These are now on display at the Musée National Marc Chagall in France. He also travelled around Europe.
In 1935, after a trip to Poland where he got the full measure of anti-Semite sentiment, he was branded a “degenerate artist” by the Nazis.
In 1937, he at last became a French national with the support of Jean Paulhan.
He was a frequent visitor to the Maritain Salon and rubbed shoulders with the writers Breton, Delteil, Soupault, Cocteau, Reverdy and Arland whose work he illustrated.
When war broke out, he took refuge in Gordes, in the free zone, but was ultimately left with no choice but to leave Occupied France in 1941.
His daughter Ida managed, against the odds, to forward all of the works from his studio to New York where he made his home.