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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.

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From The National Gallery Podcast: Episode Forty Five, July 2010


 
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