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However, after a few months at the school, Chagall realized that academic portrait painting did not suit his desires.Marc Chagall, 1912, Calvary (Golgotha), oil on canvas, 174.6 × 192.4 cm, Museum of Modern Art, New York. Sold through Galerie Der Sturm (Herwarth Walden), Berlin to Bernhard Koehler (1849–1927), Berlin, 1913.Their movement within the city was also restricted.Chagall therefore received his primary education at the local Jewish religious school, where he studied Hebrew and the Bible.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.
Due to Chagall's youth and lack of income, Pen offered to teach him free of charge.During this period he created his own mixture and style of modern art based on his idea of Eastern European Jewish folk culture.He spent the wartime years in Soviet Belarus, becoming one of the country's most distinguished artists and a member of the modernist avant-garde, founding the Vitebsk Arts College before leaving again for Paris in 1922.Chagall would later include fish motifs "out of respect for his father", writes Chagall biographer, Jacob Baal-Teshuva. There was always plenty of butter and cheese on our table.Chagall wrote of these early years: Day after day, winter and summer, at six o'clock in the morning, my father got up and went off to the synagogue. Buttered bread, like an eternal symbol, was never out of my childish hands.