A young boy recoils in pain as his finger is bitten by a lizard, hidden among the fruit. A magnificent still-life stands between him and us. The glass vase holds a rose and a sprig of jasmine, while red, succulent cherries lie beside the vase. Note the reflection of a room painted in the curving contour of the glass. It's most unusual for a late sixteenth-century painting to show a figure so realistically in a moment of action, and for a still-life to be so prominent.
The subject of this painting may have an allegorical meaning, and possibly refers to the pain that can derive from love.
From The National Gallery Podcast: Episode Forty Five, July 2010