The Republic of Belarus, a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, has been under the dominance of several rulers over the past centuries with the result that its culture was often suppressed. But this could not dampen the spirit of modern day Belarusians in their determination to build a nation rich in the arts and culture. The nation has a diverse population comprising people of Belarusian ethnicity, Russians, Jews, Poles, and Vikings. The 20th century artist Marc Chagall who was associated with several major artistic styles, was referred to as "the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century" by art critic Robert Hughes.
Chaïm Soutine, a painter of Belarusian Jewish origin made a major contribution to the expressionist movement while living in Paris. The country has also produced some fine writers such as Guillaume Apollinaire who is considered one of the foremost poets of the early 20th century and Mendele Mocher Sforim who was one of the founders of modern Yiddish and Hebrew literature. The Belarusian physicist Zhores Ivanovich Alferov invented the heterotransistor and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. This section provides you information about the life and works of famous Belarusians.