The Promenade, 1917 - by Marc Chagall
So these large-scale pictures indicate a high-spirited, even exultant attitude to life, and they all center on Bella, against the background of the home town. In Over the Town the enchanted pair floats gaily over the rooftops of Vitebsk. In The Promenade Bella in ecstatic jubilation flutters like a flag in the wind, held up in the sky on the arm of Chagall, who is laughing with joy and is dressed in his best clothes.
This ecstasy is in accord with the expansive decorative character of the picture. The dancing double figure extends over the plane like an ornamental emblem. The precious ornamentation of Bella's skirt pleats, as in a Futurist rendering of movement, greatly emphasizes the swinging effect of her floating figure. This ornamental stratification of form goes through the whole picture, arranging the meadow into a geometrical pattern, grouping the medley of cubic houses, reaching up into the sky in a variety of transparent geometrical forms, and culminating in the exuberantly patterned picnic cloth, which appears purely as a surface ornament. All Chagall's experiences gained from Cubism and Futurism-together with those from Henri Matisse - have clearly gone into the making of the picture, but they are used to bring about a closer description of reality, even if the style is a little in the manner of poster art.