The description next to the painting dwells mostly on the flowers, but the still life also features all kinds of really cool insects and shells.
With the help of some scientists at the Academy of Natural Sciences a few blocks down the parkway, I tried to add some new insights into the painting.
You can read the article on the PMA's blog here:
To learn more about the symbolism behind insects, flowers and various objects in still lifes, the PMA's Jennifer Thompson suggests this webpage:
As a small footnote, my father was an illustrator who went to the commercial-arts college affiliated with the PMA back in the day. I'd like to think he would have enjoyed what I wrote for his alma mater.