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La Mariée

Artist: Marc Chagall
Location: Private collection



Chagall is an extremely popular artist and one of the reasons he is so successful is because his paintings are easy to understand and well-liked. His canvases do not inflict a new artistic language on us. What he depicts is different certainly from what we see in everyday life but not to such an extent that we lose our bearings. His paintings are rich in myth. His air borne humans, monsters and animals defy the laws of gravity and tell stories of mythic proportions. Like fairy tales, the images all put together float through our intellectual thinking and tap into our very essence as humans. As a result, we somehow clearly understand his message. Initially, Chagall adopted Cubism but found its style too preoccupied with the physical appearance of things to suit him. Subsequently, he adapted the form into his own very personal and unique style. Chagall’s natural impulse towards kindness, pleasure, joy and happiness is clearly evident in many of his paintings including, La Mariee. His method of mixing the everyday with the magical is also present in, La Mariee. For example, although the couple appears to be floating and there is a goat at their feet playing a violin, we recognize nonetheless that they are a bride and groom and one gets the feeling that this is a painting of them just after they have said their marriage vows. Furthermore, one might deduce that they are a happily married couple well on their way towards happily ever after, indeed floating with their heads literally in the clouds or as the old saying goes, walking on air.

Chagall’s paintings, in their demonstration of the unrealistic, lend plausibility to the impossible, thus endowing the work of art with the feeling of a magic power. He uses his imaginative gifts to reconcile eternal opposites, otherworldly aspirations and earthbound reality as is clearly demonstrated in La Mariee.

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