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To My Betrothed

Marc Chagall, French (born Russia), 1887 - 1985


Gouache, watercolor, metallic paint, charcoal, and ink on paper, mounted on cardboard

Sheet: 24 x 17 1/2 inches (61 x 44.5 cm)

© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Fiske and Marie Kimball, 1950

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To My Betrothed takes as its subject matter the archetypal theme of beauty and the beast. Within a vortex of tangled legs, arms, and other body parts a minotaur-like figure emerges, apparently locked in a wild embrace with a woman whose upside-down head enters the picture at the upper left. The woman directs a stream of “diabolical spittle” (Chagall’s words) into the mouth of the bull-headed man—a pictorial device that recalls the solidified words that flow from the mouth of the archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary in early Italian Renaissance paintings of the Annunciation.