His wife, Bella, is depicted in many of Chagall's works and in this case, she appears with his daughter Ida nestled securely in her arms. As with some of his other works, observers can see a stark resemblance between Bella and the Virgin Mary. Raised in a Jewish household, these similarities that clearly stem from the artist's own religious belief. These obvious Jewish influences were daring at the time as, in 1900s Imperial Russia, it was far safer to hide or deny one's Jewish roots.
However, this piece is not only a fine example of the artist’s love for god but also of his love for his wife. Chagall, who was not shy of voicing his feelings for his life partner, was quoted as saying "...Her silence is mine, her eyes mine. It is as if she knows everything about my childhood, my present, my future, as if she can see right through me". While living in France, far from his then-fiancee who had remained living in their home of Vitebsk, Belarus, Chagall reportedly 'thought about her day and night'.
At this point, Chagall had been living in France since 1910 and the couple had not seen each other for five long years. His desperation to be reunited with his lover and fear of losing Bella was so great that he eventually returned to Vitebsk in order to finally marry her, within a year they had their first child, Ida. At this time, Chagall faced criticism from Bella's parents who believed the struggling artists would be unable to provide for his new family, which only inspired him to work harder.
This painting, created only two years after his child's birth, was exhibited across Moscow and St. Petersburg where the artist managed to find the right audience for his work in the avant-garde art world and finally began to reap the benefits of his hard work and provide for the family he so often depicted in the paintings he produced at the time. Nowadays, this fine work of art is unfortunately unavailable for public viewing and is owned by an unnamed private collector.