La Mariée

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La Mariée
English language: The Bride
1950 Chagall La Mariée.jpg
Artist Marc Chagall
Year 1950 (1950)
Material Gouache, pastel
Dimensions 68 cm × 53 cm (27 in × 21 in)
Owner Private collection, Japan

La Mariée (French for "The Bride") is a painting in oil on canvas, 68×53 cm, created in 1950 by Russian-French artist Marc Chagall. It is held in a private collection in Japan.

The painting[edit]

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.[1]


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.[1]


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.[1]

Notting Hill[edit]

Main article: Notting Hill (film)

In the 1999 film Notting Hill, Julia Roberts' character Anna Scott sees a poster 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 the canvas used in the film could have been "worth between $500,000 and $1 million." [2]


  1. ^ a b c "La Mariée, Marc Chagall". Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  2. ^ Flashes ~ Entertainment Weekly, issue #489 June 11, 1999