I and the Villiage

Marc Chagall (Russia)

As the title suggests, I and the Village is influenced by memories of the Chagall’s place of birth and his relationship to it. The significance of the painting lies in its seamless integration of various elements of Eastern European folktales and culture, both Russian and Yiddish. Its clearly defined semiotic elements (e.g. The Tree of Life) and daringly whimsical style were at the time considered groundbreaking. Its frenetic, fanciful style is credited to Chagall’s childhood memories becoming, in the words of scholar H.W. Janson, a “cubist fairy tale” reshaped by his imagination, without regard to natural color, size or even the laws of gravity.

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