Lilacs are a beloved Russian flower of springtime, and are a personal favorite of Victor’s. Lilacs are associated with having survived the harsh, Russian winter, and embracing the fragrant blossoming of springtime. This painting conveys the sense of joy experienced after going through difficult times and finally arriving at a place of beauty, ease, and freedom. In the lower right, we see that multicolored butterflies have been released from a dark drawer to find comfort amongst the flowers.
Victor portrays himself upon the tabletop where he too he enjoys the lilacs. We see from the ladder leading to his location, that he has had a steep climb to arrive at this peaceful place. Victor looks small in comparison to the two forces that he is observing- the lilacs, and the butterflies.
We see that Victor depicts himself as working on his self-portrait (painting on easel). He is taking a break from his work to hold a bouquet of lilacs for the woman that holds his heart