The Female Gardener Holding a Mask, or The Allegory of Simulation / Deception by Lorenzo Lippi, painted about 1640.
A young woman carries a theatrical mask and a pomegranate. The mask represents the simulated reality or falseness of the theater. The pomegranate refers to the Greek myth of Persephone eating pomegranate seeds, being forced to stay in the underworld and causing six months of barrenness on earth. The pomegranate was a popular allegorical Christian symbol referring to Jesus’ suffering, resurrection and eternal life.