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The Illusion of the American Frontier

From 03 November 2015 to 07 February 2016

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Edward S. Curtis
An Oasis in the Badlands (detail), 1905
Photography, gelatin silver. 15.2 x 20.2 cm
Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.
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Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection

Marc Chagall
The Madonna of the Village
Oil on canvas
102.5 x 98 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Numero de inventario
INV. Nr. 497 (1965.6)

More information about this work

During the years of the Jewish holocaust, Chagall painted numerous religious scenes taken from the Christian tradition . He produced a Crucifixion in 1938, and started on The Madonna of the Village in the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection soon afterwards . In 1940, while living temporarily in the Provencal town of Gordes , to which he had fled to escape the menacing Nazi advance through Holland and Belgium towards France , he continued working on this ambitious canvas and repainted some of the areas that were already sketched. The painting was not entirely completed until 1942, while the painter was staying in New York.

The painting in its final state shows a Madonna holding the Child in her arms, surrounded by angels singing and playing music accompanied by a flying cow with a violin. The scene is set near a small village. The Madonna , rendered on a monumental scale and wearing a bridal gown, floats in a fantasy world that is so characteristic of the painter.

Paloma Alarcó

© 2009 Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

Paseo del Prado 8, 28014 Madrid, España

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