Conversation dans le pré is a profoundly emotive and poignant illustration of Marc Chagall’s meditative imagery. The artist communicated his psychology through powerful recurring motifs, and such themes manifest the framework of the composition. At once haunting and beguiling, nostalgia fills the present work and lends to its engaging charm. The couple suggests Chagall himself and his beloved wife Bella, whose death in 1944 had a profound effect on the artist. Chagall depicts his hometown of Vitebsk with its shtetls and rural character which continually served as a source of inspiration for the artist, who referred to it as “the soil that nourished the roots of my art” (quoted in Jacob Baal-Teshuva, Marc Chagall: 1887-1985, New York, 1998, p. 19). Even though the artist would never return to his hometown, Vitebsk remained vivid in his mind following his departure for Paris in 1922, and became intrinsically bound to Chagall’s memories of his youth.
Images of Vitebsk took on a new significance to the artist in his work of the post-war years, as evidenced in this work from 1955, after his beloved hometown was effectively destroyed during the German invasion. Chagall's memories of his distant past, the vanished way of life of his homeland and his loss of identity continued to provide artistic inspiration for the rest of his life, emerging in dream-like, magical scenes. Together, the highly emotive and deeply personal iconography of his most fond subjects are harmoniously combined in the present work.