Private Collection, The Netherlands
Private Collection (by descent from the above)
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2016
As Chagall later recalled: ‘As I got nearer to the Côte d’Azur, I experienced a feeling of regeneration, something I hadn’t felt since childhood. The smell of flowers, a sort of new energy poured through me […]. Near to Nice already, I felt that numerous artists had come here, that it was a place where it was possible to establish oneself, to set oneself up. In such a town, you could write music, poetry, paint pictures […]. It was here I stayed. Perhaps I am feeling the years, but anyway this place has become to me like my hometown Vitebsk. As if I was rejuvenated, and that I was waiting for something. And this flower-filled world coloured my new life’ (quoted in Marc Chagall. Rétrospective 1908-1985 (exhibition catalogue), Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels, 2015, p. 48, translated from French).
La mariée embodies this new feeling of optimism. The married couple at the centre of the composition recalls Chagall’s great love, his first wife Bella, whilst also alluding to his happy marriage to Valentina ‘Vava’ Brodsky whom he had met in 1952. They are surrounded by a richly-impastoed wreath of flowers crowned by the artist’s symbolic violin-playing goat and set against the deep blue background that the artist so often used to evoke an enigmatic dreamworld. Chagall draws these elements together to create a harmonious and beguiling composition that beautifully captures this mood of regeneration and hope.
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