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Artist and His Bride

Marc Chagall • Painting, 1980, 116×88 cm
About the artwork
This artwork was added since it is referred to in the materials below
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Portrait
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1980
Size: 116×88 cm
Artwork in selections: 50 selections
Audio guide

Description of the artwork «Artist and His Bride»

In 1952, eight years after Bella’s death, Marc decided to marry for the second time. His chosen one was Valentina Brodsky, whom he called Vava. The relationship of the artist with his first wife is generally spoken in glowing terms, while Vava is openly disliked by art critics. The second wife is said to be not so much his beloved woman as Chagall’s manager , and she practically forced him to break off relationships with many close people. However, Bella stayed in his biographies forever as his only muse and inspirer. But can’t one have another love in his life? Even when the second one differs from the first one. The kind, real and tragic love to Bella was in the Chagall’s heart till the end of his days. Nevertheless, he also loved Vava, but a little bit in another way. She helped him to feel comfortable and cozily; she was the woman he wrote of, “I see only you living with me and for me”. He tenderly painted her and himself at her side. Perhaps, the only important difference was the entourage: the artist most often portrayed Bella in the environment of the native Vitebsk landscapes, while the background for the portraits of Vava was usually Parisian.

Five years before his death in 1980, Marc painted the Artist and His Bride canvas, in which he seems to summarize his entire long life. Everything seems transparent here, wrapped in a haze, except for a bouquet of bright red flowers in the foreground. In the artist's face, the features of himself can be easily seen. The background is divided into two parts; it was dedicated to his most favourite cities: Paris on the left, and Vitebsk on the right. An acrobat and musicians, a mother with her child and a couple of lovers can be seen here, all of them are like live memories. The bride of the artist kind of hovers above the ground again. Who is she? Bella or Vava? It’s likely that they both are rolled into one.