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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Chagall, Marc


I and the Village
1911
Oil on canvas
6' 3 5/8" x 59 5/8" (192.1 x 151.4 cm).
Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund.
Museum of Modern Art in New York City, USA
http://www.moma.org/

Marc Chagall (1887 – 1985), was a Belorussian-French artist and one of the most successful artists of the 20th century.
I and the Village evokes his memories of his native Hasidic community outside Vitebsk. In the village, peasants and animals lived side by side, in a mutual dependence here signified by the line from peasant to cow, connecting their eyes. The peasant's flowering sprig, symbolically a tree of life, is the reward of their partnership. For Hasids, animals were also humanity's link to the universe, and the painting's large circular forms suggest the orbiting sun, moon (in eclipse at the lower left), and earth.

"For the Cubists," Chagall said, "a painting was a surface covered with forms in a certain order. For me a painting is a surface covered with representations of things . . . in which logic and illustration have no importance."