Art Awareness Logo

I and The Village by Marc Chagall

I and The Village by Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall was born into a very religious and loving family in Russia, 1887. Marc did not do well in school, but loved music. In his last year at school he discovered he could draw and began art lessons. Marc studied in St. Petersburg but spent most of his career in Paris and became a pioneer of modernism. Modernism is modern thought, character or practice. Chagall experienced modernism in Paris, where he synthesized the art forms of Cubism, Symbolism, and Surrealism in his paintings. Chagall was the first living artist to be exhibited in the Louvre at the age of 90. During his lifetime he created over 200 oil paintings, gouaches, etchings, theater set designs, and stained-glass pieces.

Questions to Ask

What is the first thing you notice? This is the focal point. The focal point is what first draws your eye, something that stands out.

Try to cover the title of the painting before you present it to the class. Have the students guess the title. Where do you think these scenes take place? What time period? How do you think the artist feels about this place? Tell the students the children the title of the painting. This painting is about Marc's childhood village growing up. Chagall childhood village was a recurring theme in his art.

This painting is an example of Surrealism. Surrealism is the art movement that emphasizes dreams and fantasy. Are dreams logical or make believe or both? Do you remember your dreams? Could you make a drawing or painting from your memories?

What colors do you see? Which color is used the most? Hint — Green. Ask the students if they can point out where opposite colors are placed next to each other. What effect does this have? Is this an energetic or peaceful painting?

What shapes do you see? Does this remind students of another artist they have seen? Hint- Picasso. Chagall and Picasso lived during the same time period. Both artists experimented with perspective, showing a figure from several angles at the same time, breaking them down into geometric shapes.

Ask students how perspective is used? Perspective is what makes a picture look like you can walk into it. Chagall uses big is near, far is small, color and texture are less with distance, and overlapping.

Symbolism helps to tell a story about the painting. What do you think the tree symbolizes? What about the ring? Who is the man? Could it be the artist?

Activities for the Classroom

Additional Kid Friendly Resources at the AHML are "Dreamer from the village:the story of Marc Chagall" by Michelle Markel, and "Chagall from A to Z" by Marie Sellier.

Ask the students to draw or paint a picture of their home and neighborhood. Suggest that they use colors, shapes, and the style of the print (objects floating around, upside down, etc.)

Ask student to draw a story from their life. Ask them to choose an event that has already happened to them or that they would like to happen in the future, such as moving to or from a town, future careers or favorite activities. Remind students that this should be a symbolic picture.

Back to Lessons More Information Contact Us