In the painting an empty, wooden dining room chair stands by the side of a raging fire, on a dry mountain, overlooking other distant mountains, with a small cloud rising at the horizon. The fire appears to be about to burn the wooden chair which is casting a dramatic shadow on the dry grass.
This painting is based on the Old Testament account of the prophet Elijah when he challenged the priests of Baal to start a fire by praying to the gods that they worshipped. After he gave them plenty of time to entreat their gods, and they obtained no result (imagine what would happen if you repeatedly requested siri or google to start a fire), Elijah took his turn. He rebuilt the altar of God on Mount Carmel, which had been neglected over time, and doused it heavily three times with water until it was thoroughly soaked. When he prayed to the God of Israel for fire, immediately the fire raged, and licked up the water that remained on the altar. The small cloud rising at the horizon becomes the predicted storm which releases the area from a severe drought that the prophet designed with God to humble the people.
An empty chair at the altar of God, on Mount Carmel, serves as an invitation to you to experience the power of this sacred scriptural account in 1 Kings 18: 21-39 for yourself; by reading and pondering. Fire on the chair represents the burning witness you can receive that this account is true; if you take the challenge to read with real intent. An empty chair also references the longstanding Jewish tradition of leaving a vacant seat for Elijah to return and participate in the Passover Feast.
Elijah held the sealing power of the Melchizedek Priesthood and appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration to confer the keys of the priesthood on Peter, James, and John (Matthew 17:3). He appeared again to confer these same keys upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery (D&C 110:13-16) to prepare the world for the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, as prophesied in Malachi 4:5-6.
To learn more about Elijah and his role in the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ follow this link https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/elijah