Sacred art is full of items that aren’t sacred — everyday object that might not immediately bring to mind particular symbolism. Yet, traditionally artists choose specific items, such as fruit, for a specific purpose. In the Christian artistic tradition, nothing is without meaning. Known for its sweetness, cherries symbolize a sweet character and the sweetness of Paradise. The Christ child is often shown holding a cherry. The history of cherries—the actual sweet-and-sour stone fruit—extends all the way back to prehistoric Europe and West Asia, when people were plucking and eating them off wild trees. The cherry's legacy has also some history as a symbol of sexuality.
In A Dictionary of Sexual Language and Imagery in Shakespearean and Stuart Literature, Gordon Williams traces the cherry's cultural influence back to the 16th and 17th centuries, referring to some of the notable ways Europeans were using the fruit to talk about sins of the flesh. Here Peter Micthev, whose works very often depict sexuality, tenderness and love, has chosen to present a young woman holding cherries as a hedonistic symbol of the joy and happiness in life.
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