TALKING TO A PICTURE

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.

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13 thoughts on “TALKING TO A PICTURE

  1. I love the comment, ‘we were almost happy’- very evocative. Can you explain the idea to me? Do you respond to an image? Or pretend you’re the person in it?

  2. I love the story especially the “almost happy part” .
    Maybe it is better for me to remain ignorant of artists and their ways.
    Chagall just lost a lot of cool points 🙂 .

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