I and the Village  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

I and the Village is a painting by the Jewish Belarusian-born French artist Marc Chagall. It is currently exhibited at the New York Museum of Modern Art.

Painted in oil in 1911, the artwork features many soft, dreamlike images overlapping each other: 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. Please note that the green-faced man wears a necklace with St. Andrew's cross, indicating that the man is a Christian. I and the Village seems to examine the relationship between the artist and his place of birth.

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 simply its daringly whimsical style, which for the time was considered groundbreaking. Its frenetic, fanciful style is credited to Chagall's childhood memories becoming, in the words of scholar H.W. Janson, shaped and reshaped by his imagination but not diminishing with the passing of time.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "I and the Village" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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