The Comité Chagall has confirmed the authenticity of this work.
Le cavalier amoureux poetically expresses the world of unconscious imagination to which Chagall was so drawn. As is typical of the artist's late work, the theme is neither strictly narrative nor folkloric. Rich in imagery, instead the subject matter and forms swirl together and the symbolic reading seems to grow out of the rhythm of the organisation. Chagall's early association with the poets Jules Superville, Paul Eluard and René Schwob fostered this particular gift, where various motifs traverse the picture plane without any pretense to rational order, becoming words in a painted poem.
The lovers, so frequently seen in the work of Chagall flying or as a matrimonial pair, are here astride a donkey and symbolically merged into one single being. Surrounded by joyous icons of his native and adopted land, the Tower Eiffel, a circus performer and musicians join together in a mise en scène that is presented with a theatricality of gesture and boldness of vision.
Farmyard animals also count among the elements that reappear in Chagall's oeuvre, and are thought to refer back to his childhood experiences. As Aleksander Kamensky has commented, 'As in folk tales, animals have the same rights as man. Moreover, in following his creative impulses the painter touched on the very foundations of existence in which everything is united in a marvellous pantheistic universality' (A. Kamensky, Chagall, The Russian Years, 1907-1922, London and New York, 1989, pp. 89-92).