Francisco Zurbarán has made these ordinary objects look extraordinary, in part by their bright colors against the dark background and in part by their arrangement in a straight line on the table, not at all casual. In addition, he has inserted unexpected religious meaning in a secular painting by using three circular containers. The circle is a symbol of eternity because it has no beginning or end. In addition, the beautifully painted lemon rinds and the orange blossoms are also references to the Virgin Mary, as is the rose that has no thorns, a reference to the Virgin Mary, who was so good she was described as a rose without thorns.
Norton Simon Art Foundation