This painting is sold with a photo-certificate from the Comité Chagall.
In his later years Chagall's works achieve the colouristic exuberance and plenitude that he had always sought throughout his career. Chagall had always used colour as a motif in its own right, but it was not perhaps until the 1960s, when his major architectural and window commissions allowed him to experiment with new techniques of radiance and luminescence in his paintings, that his palette and, more importantly, contrasts and juxtapositions of heavily built up colour fields, reached their full expression. Le village jaune demonstrates Chagall's confidence and mastery in allowing colour to dominate and, to some extent, dictate his composition, a manner of working that recalls his work in stained glass.
Against this backdrop of an intensely luminescent colour can be found familiar elements of Chagall's personal mythology, none more evocative and omnipresent than the cock. For Chagall, the cock occupies a position similar to that of the Minotaur in Picasso's private symbolism; an acknowledged symbol of virility, and by extension, an appropriate representative of the artists' creative abilities. In both cases the artist has projected himself into non-human form, and in this process has transformed the designated creature into a personal avatar, which the artist is then free to use as a surrogate in his paintings. While Picasso's Minotaur is drawn from classical mythology, however, Chagall's cock has far more humble origins: 'The fowlyard, too, has its place in Chagall's recollections of his childhood. That is why poultry are always part of the Russian scenes painted during his first Paris period. In the twenties impressions of French farmyards and work on [La Fontaine's] Fables lend the motif a new topicality... as a symbol, the cock has an entirely different and far stranger nature than the quadrupeds, which, despite their four feet, are more closely related to man. For thousands of years it has played a part in religious rites as the embodiment of the forces of the sun and fire. This symbolic meaning still lingers on in Chagall's work, where the cock represents elementary spiritual power' (F. Meyer, Marc Chagall, New York, 1964, pp. 380-381).