Interpretation. A man ponders on the mysteries of art, its effect on people, how easily it may be observed and digested to fit into our own needs at a given time. This man in particular muses that a particular painting he is admiring is about a young couple on the verge of falling apart. He notes how often one stares at a painting and contemplates, one's mind reverting to memories and the wistfulness that accompanies that sort of journey.
Heavy in metaphor and with fantastic lines like the ones listed below, this little Norwegian gem of a short story was a wonderful discovery.
"The only thriving thing in the whole picture is the ivy; for ivy, like sorrow, is fresh both summer and winter."
"And in the course of time we all come--each in his turn--to seat ourselves on the empty chair in a corner of the garden and gaze on a little cairn of withered leaves."
For anyone interested, the story can be read here: http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/58175/