Oil on canvas
190 x 292 cm
The composition of this painting is structured by the horizontal bench in the foreground and punctuated by the series of vertical lines represented by the figures. The brightly coloured background – red for life and love – the same as the icon backgrounds where the gold is worn, brings out the white wings of the three angels – vaguely reminiscent of those of the icon of the Trinity by Andrei Rublev (Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow).
The figures of Abraham and Sarah, standing on the far left, seem to be completely taken aback by the news that they will have a son at their age. In the bubble in the top right-hand corner, Chagall depicts the next episode in the Bible: the angels tell Abraham of God’s will that Sodom and Gomorrah be destroyed.