Writing in 1961, at the time Ane rouge et arbre bleu was executed, Katharine Kuh, the former curator of the Art Institute of Chicago, commented: 'It is possible that Chagall's enigmatic choice of subject matter will always baffle the newcomer, but it is to be remembered that many artists have used their childhood environment for the basis for their work. So also has Chirico called upon his brief early years in Greece, while Picasso refreshes himself periodically with images from his Spanish homeland. What could be more logical than Chagall's use of visual memories culled from his deeply emotional Jewish childhood in Russia? From these associations he fashions powerful compositions, which, with eerie precision, evoke the moods of his past. To those who accept him, I know of no artist living today who can exceed Chagall in the ability to give enjoyment and pleasure' (Chagall, A Retrospective, New York, 1995, p. 151).
This work has been requested for a Chagall retrospective at the Museo d'Arte Moderna Lugano from 4 March-25 June 2001.