I and the Village
|Type||Oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||192.1 cm × 151.4 cm (75.6 in × 59.6 in)|
|Location||Museum of Modern Art, NY|
The work is Cubist in construction and contains many soft, dreamlike images overlapping one another in a continuous space. In the foreground, a cap-wearing green-faced man stares at a goat or sheep with the image of a smaller goat being milked on its cheek. In the foreground is a glowing tree held in the man's dark hand. The background features a collection of houses next to an Orthodox church, and an upside-down female violinist in front of a black-clothed man holding a scythe. Note that the green-faced man wears a necklace with St. Andrew's cross, indicating that the man is a Christian. As the title suggests, I and the Village is influenced by memories of the artist'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.
- "Marc Chagall: I and the Village, 1911". MoMA display caption. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- Rosenblum, 240
- Barr, Alfred. "Masters of Modern Art". New York: Simon and Schuster, 1954. 133
- See also Leah Dickerman.
- Rosenblum, 241
- Nilsen, Alleen Pace. "Encyclopedia of 20th-Century American Humor". Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press, 2000
- Janson, Horst Woldemar. "The story of painting, from cave painting to modern times". H. N. Abrams, 1977.
- Charlotte Douglas, Jeannene M. Przyblyski, I and the village: early works, Jewish Community Museum, 1987
- Rosenblum, Robert. Cubism and Twentieth-Century Art. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1966.