Marc Chagall took inspiration from Belarusian folk-life, and portrayed many Biblical themes that reflected his Jewish heritage. In 1950 he began experimenting with graphic mediums. After meeting with Fernand Mourlot, he often visited Mourlot Studios where he eventually produced close to a thousand different lithographic editions. With the assistance of Charles Sorlier, a master printer working at Mourlot, he spent 30 years exploring the graphic medium that most lends itself to color representation. Charles Sorlier also became one of his closest friends, assistant and counsel until the day of his death.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Chagall engaged in a series of large-scale projects involving public spaces and important civic and religious buildings.
Chagall's artworks are difficult to categorize. Working in the pre-World War I Paris art world, he was involved with avant-garde currents, however, his work was consistently on the fringes of popular art movements and emerging trends, including Cubism and Fauvism, among others. He was closely associated with the Paris School and its exponents, including Amedeo Modigliani.
Abounding with references to his childhood, Chagall's work has also been criticized for slighting some of the turmoil which he experienced. He communicates happiness and optimism to those who view his work strictly in terms of his use of highly vivid colors. Chagall often posed himself, sometimes together with his wife, as an observer of a colored world like that seen through a stained-glass window. Some see The White Crucifixion, which is rich with intriguing detail, as a denunciation of the Stalin regime, the Nazi Holocaust, and the oppression of Jews in general.