The imagery of furniture set in a landscape is the only major subject that de Chirico featured in paintings during his 1924-1930 Paris sojourn which he derived primarily from daily life, in contrast to the classical and mythological subjects which were his chief preoccupation prior to this period. Indeed, in the present painting he has merged the two themes. He later recounted the genesis of this idea in his article Quelques perspectives sur mon art, which he published in the Prague journal L'Europe Centrale in April 1935:
My series of paintings called Furniture in the Valley was engendered by an idea that came to me one afternoon in Paris, as I was walking around Saint-Germain between Rue du Dragon and Rue du Vieux-Colombier.
On the sidewalk, in front of a used furniture shop, I saw sofas, chairs, wardrobes, tables, and a coat rack displayed there on the street. By finding themselves so removed from the sacred place in which man has always sought repose, the place that each of us calls home, these objects--the mere sight of which arouses feelings and sentiments that delve back to our deepest childhood--suddenly appeared solemn, tragic, even mysterious. I immediately understood how I could take advantage of this vision, and I began painting furniture and the corners of rooms, but set in the middle of vast and deserted Nature." (translated by M. Polizzotti; in J. Ashbery, Hebdomoros, a novel by Giorgio de Chirico, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1992, pp. 249-250).
De Chirico became engrossed in this "revelation of the ordinary" sometime in 1927, when this subject first appeared in his paintings, which he continued into the following year. Indeed, this encounter so fascinated the artist that he felt compelled to write about it soon after. He analyzed its significance in the text Statues, Meubles et Généraux, which his dealer Léonce Rosenberg published in the Bulletin de L'Effort Moderne, his gallery journal, in October 1927. James Thrall Soby has called attention to the "artist's extraordinary imaginative gifts [that] flared up in literary form. One senses here a return to the oneiric inspiration of his youth" (in Giorgio de Chirico, New York, 1955, pp. 161-162). De Chirico wrote:
"The furniture appears to us in a new light; the pieces are dressed with a strange solitude; a great intimacy is born between them, and one could say that a strange happiness floats in this narrow space that they occupy on the sidewalk, in the midst of the ardent life of the city and the hasty comings-and-goings of men; an immense and strange happiness emerges from this blessed and mysterious island. If a passerby were there suddenly panic-stricken by an indescribable terror, like an Orestes pursued by the Furies, or a dethroned tyrant chased by an irresistible anger of people in revolt, and frantically fleeing before the danger, were to look for refuge on this island formed by the furniture exhibited there on the sidewalk, and sink into an armchair in their midst, he would suddenly find himself safe from all the persecutions of gods and men.
Also very profound is the impression one would have of furniture placed in deserted lands, in the midst of infinite nature. Imagine an armchair, a divan, chairs grouped together on a plain in Greece, deserted and covered by ruins. Pieces of furniture abandoned in the wild are innocence, tenderness, sweetness amidst blind and destructive forces armored with innocence they stand there, distant and solitary.
For some time I have been obsessed by this aspect that furniture has when placed outside of buildings; in some of my recent pictures, I have sought to express the emotion it inspires in me" (Translated by D. Krukowski, in ibid., pp. 245-246).