Today's the birthday of Marc Chagall.
The evocative dreamy "Le Pont Neuf"
Or the mystical "Fiddler on the Roof"---
His flights of fantasy still enthrall.
"Chagall is one of those artists who seem to draw all their inspiration from childhood. Indeed, his early life reads like a fable---he was a Jew in a Russian village, and desperately poor. But the poverty was only material, for his childhood was rich with Jewish stories and Jewish culture. All the farmyard images of that rural life come back in his mature work and transfigure it with a supernatural energy.
The rooster that is ridden and so tenderly embraced by one woman has parallels in this painting: we see other lovers in the rowing boat, and lovers peeking behind the girl's foot, as if Chagall is eager that we should not misunderstand the significance of the painting. This is an image of marriage, of the great male and all his sexual splendor supporting and accepting and becoming one with a barefoot woman. Chagall's emotional life revolved wholly around his wife, and his images of their relationship are among the most tender in painting." [From "1000 Masterpieces: Sister Wendy Beckett's Selection of the Greatest Paintings in Western Art"]