The artist makes us pause and examine the commonplace. We sense the passage of time, of the activity that has preceded and will follow: the ripened fruit has been gathered and piled up together for consumption. A cherry is rotting; a lemon, used and now set aside, has discoloured. The inevitable decay warns us of our own mortality – yet the work also celebrates nature's bounty and human skill. It also comments on art itself, contrasting De Heem's remarkable illusionism with the stylized fruits and flowers painted on the prized Chinese bowl.