||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (September 2011)|
|English language:The Bride|
|Dimensions||68 cm × 53 cm (27 in × 21 in)|
|Owner||Private collection, Japan|
Chagall paintings often feature young women or couples, but in La Mariée the focus is on a singular young woman in quasi-wedding attire with a bouquet of flowers. Described by a Chagall fans as "an ode to young love", the woman is presented to the viewer in a bold and conspicuous fashion, as if the viewer is the one marrying her.
The second peculiarity of La Mariée compared to the majority of other Chagall paintings is the choice of colors. The young woman is dressed in a red dress lively, with a virginal white veil draped over her head, while the background is a mix of fresh and soft blue and gray. This effect allows the image of the woman to jump off the canvas and really attract attention. It is evident that Chagall has attempted to highlight the woman, as is tradition in every marriage.
The theme of the wedding is another major theme of the painting, and this also includes one of the favorite elements of European artists of the twentieth century, animals playing musical instruments, a feature that is also found in other paintings by Chagall. There is a man that hangs over the head of the bride, apparently regular, as if it would ensure that the veil is perfect for her. The church stands in the background, almost as an afterthought.
In the 1999 film Notting Hill, Julia Roberts' character Anna Scott sees a print of La Mariée in the home of Hugh Grant's character, William Thacker. Anna later gives William what is presumably the original.
According to director Roger Michell in an article in Entertainment Weekly, the painting was chosen because screenwriter Richard Curtis was a fan of Chagall's work, and because La Mariée "depicts a yearning for something that's lost." Producers had a reproduction made for use in the film, but had to first get permission from the painting's owners, as well as clearance from the British Design and Artists Copyright Society. Finally, according to producer Duncan Kenworthy, "... we had to agree to destroy it. They were concerned that if our fake was too good, it might float around the market and create problems." The article also notes that "... some experts say the real canvas could be worth between $500,000 and $1 million."