In the 1920s, Eckhardt’s future wife, the German composer Sophie-Carmen Eckhardt-Gramatté, and her first husband, German Expressionist artist Walter Gramatté, became close friends with Chagall’s future wife, Valentina Brodsky, in Berlin. Later that decade Gramatté completed a haunting portrait of “Vava,” as Brodsky was known.
Eckhardt was introduced to Brodsky through Sophie-Carmen, whom he married in 1934 following the death of Gramatté. Even after they settled in Canada, the Eckhardts maintained close contact with Brodsky, who married Chagall in 1952. The Eckhardts eventually befriended Chagall himself and visited the artist at his home in southern France on several occasions in the late-1950s and 1960s.