The twins Meret and Bella love their grandfather, Papa Chagall, and he loves telling them stories. One day, when they visit him in his studio, he tells them about his life – through four different stories, all told during a day they spend together.
The first story is about Chagall’s childhood, and how his paintings of purple cows and flying people made his mother smile. She took him to see the teacher at the Art College, who was so amazed by the boy’s work he offered him a free place at the college.
The second story tells how Chagall met the twins’ grandmother, Bella, how they fell in love and went to live in Paris, and had a baby – the twins’ mother, Ida.
Then comes the sad story of how the Nazis hated the Jews and mocked the paintings of Jewish artists. But Ida persuaded her father and mother to emigrate to America, taking Chagall’s paintings with them.
The family were not happy in America, but in the fourth and last story Chagall tells the twins that at last people started to appreciate his art and he became a famous artist – and was able to paint happy paintings again.