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Donkey on the Roof

Artist: Marc Chagall
(Vitebsk 1887 – 1985 Saint-Paul-de-Vence)

Date: 1911–1912
Medium: gouache on paper
Dimensions: 430 × 345 mm
Classification: drawing
Inventory Number: K.69.48
Department: Prints and Drawings

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Donkey on the Roof

This work, which evokes the buildings of Chagall's native village, is a small version of his oil painting entitled For Russia, for Donkeys and Others, dating from 1911-12, which is now in the Musée d'Art Moderne, Paris. The unusual title was given by a friend of the artist, the poet Blaise Cendrars. The two compositions correspond, differing only in their colour shades. The Paris painting has a grey background mottled with colourful geometric configurations; in contrast to this, the Budapest sheet's dark blue ground tone reinforces the work's dreamlike effect.