La Mariée (“The Bride”) is a 1950 painting by artist Marc Chagall
AN IMAGINARY INTERVIEW WITH THE MODEL:
I am Virginia Haggard and I was once the housekeeper of Marc Chagall. He painted me often, but I am particularly fond of this painting, we were almost happy together when he made it.
The red dress was not my own, I had none suitable, being so poor. It’s a heavy brocade, rust brown; but he decided to paint it red, I have no idea why. Marc took it from Bella’s open trunk, untouched since she died; a shrine. Of all the women, he loved Bella best, she was his wife, his cold queen. He painted me as a bride, all the while taunting me: I will never marry you. I was always the housekeeper, you know; all the while we were lovers and after our son David was born, I was always made to walk slightly behind Marc.
He painted love but he didn’t practice it, I said it then, everyone quoted me widely; I’ll say it again.
I stole the dress when I left him.