At the heart of the composition is an exuberant bouquet of flowers, dominated by both rich green foliage and a dazzling array of jewel-like flowers, flanked by a nude female figure in a tender repose with her clothed lover. An unmistakable self portrait and reference to his beloved Bella, the couple are surrounded by children, animals and a pastoral small village as they derive comfort and pleasure from the swirling, colorful flowers.
The association of flowers and love was a constant theme in Chagall’s oeuvre and can be traced throughout his earliest work. Indeed, flowers had a special significance for Chagall, as André Verdet explains: "Marc Chagall loved flowers. He delighted in their aroma, in contemplating their colors. For a long time, certainly after 1948 when he moved for good to the South of France after his wartime stay in the U.S., there were always flowers in his studio. In his work bouquets of flowers held a special place… Usually they created a sense of joy, but they could also reflect the melancholy of memories" (quoted in Jacob Baal-Teshuva, ed., Chagall: A Retrospective, Fairfield, Connecticut, 1995, p. 347).
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