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“When language was not transcendental enough to complete the meaning of a revelation, symbols were
relied upon for heavenly teaching, and familiar images, chosen from the known, were made to mirror the unknown spiritual truth.” 
– William H. Hunt

For example, pomegranates symbolized such concepts as eternal life and unity of the Christian community.  The apple symbolized carnal pleasures and sin, as in the “forbidden fruit.”  A musical from my days at teaching at a Christian school carried the words:  “What could be wrong with just an apple?  There’s nothing wrong with just a bite!  Your mama always told me to eat apples.  You know she’s say it was all right.  Well, o.k., come on, take a bite!”  And in keeping with the same Biblical narrative, the fig symbolizes the loss of innocence and a fall from grace.  You do remember the clothes Adam and Eve modeled, don’t you?  The pear symbolizes marital faith.  The orange a symbol of free will.  The lemon could relate to unresolved conflict while the strawberry symbolized harmony.  Wine is symbolic of the shed blood of Jesus Christ who gave His life as a sacrifice so that those who accept His free gift of forgiveness could have peace with God.

And so the humble ‘Still Life’ is often rich with meaning.  These works go way beyond a smattering of everyday objects to present delicious visual compositions that not only delight the eye but give a depth of spiritual insight to those willing to take a second look.

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One thought on “Just Fruit?

  1. I so enjoy your writing Penny. I learn so many new things from you, and I’ll never look at a still life the same way again.

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