The Comité Marc Chagall has confirmed the authenticity of this painting.
Chagall often embellished the margins of his floral still-lifes with Lilliputian people and fantastic creatures. In the present painting, however, the miniature lovers are the artist's primary subject, and although they inhabit the lower left corner only, the great burst of flowers appears to emanate from them, amplifying their presence, giving rise to an ecstatic expression of their love and joy. Young lovers, the affianced pair, the bride and groom, or the newlywed couple, can be counted as the most frequent subject in Chagall's paintings, attesting to the wealth of traditions and customs pertaining to marriage as the central event in Jewish socio-religious life. Regarding the red rooster which frequently accompanies them, Franz Meyer has noted that "there was a time at Jewish weddings when a cock and a hen were often carried before the bride and groom" (Chagall: Life and Work, New York, 1963, p. 452).
In 1948 Chagall returned to France from his wartime exile in America. He had a new family. In September 1944 his beloved wife Bella had died in a New York hospital from the complications of a viral infection. During the following year Chagall met Virginia Haggard McNeil, a woman twenty-eight years his junior, and fell in love. Virginia, who was caught up in an unsatisfactory marriage, later recalled they were both "starved." She became pregnant, and their son David was born on 22 June 1946. Shortly after arriving in France, Chagall settled into a house in Orgeval, near Saint-Germain-en-Laye, a short drive from Paris. In early 1949, at the suggestion of the Greek-born printer and publisher Tériade, Chagall and his family took rooms in a pension and later rented a house for a four-month stay in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, a small town on the Mediterranean coast. Chagall returned to the south of France that autumn, first staying in Saint-Jeannet and subsequently renting a studio in Vence. The all-pervasive blue tonality, which would become characteristic of Chagall's Mediterranean pictures, and the open space behind the table-top, with a rising crescent moon, suggests that the artist painted Fleurs dans un vase à carreaux during one of these initial sojourns in the Midi. In 1950 Chagall acquired Les Collines, a hillside house with surrounding property along the road between Saint-Jeannet and Vence, and made it his permanent home.
Chagall continued to paint Bella as the eternal bride, goddess and muse in his pictures, and during the seven years he lived with Virginia he often mingled the images of Bella and Virginia, who represented in his imagination the spiritual and sensual aspects of love. Chagall normally indicated Bella's identity by means of her black hair; here the color of the woman's hair is lighter in tone, perhaps indicating that it is Virginia's presence he is evoking in this instance. By the time Virginia's husband was finally willing to grant her a divorce, she had become involved with Charles Leirins, a Belgian photographer.
Chagall and Virginia ended their relationship in April 1951. The following spring Chagall met Russian-born Valentine ("Vava") Brodsky, whom he married in July 1952. On their first anniversary, Chagall wrote to his friend Yosef Opatoshu in New York: "Today is my day, our day, 12/7, when Valya became my wife--and it seems she is happy and I have a very nice friend for my life" (quoted in B. Harshav, ed., Marc Chagall and His Times, Stanford, 2004, p. 817).