“…when you come into the land… you shall take of the first of all the fruit of the ground… And you shall put [them] into a basket and go to the place which the L‑rd, your G‑d, will choose… Then, you shall rejoice with all the good that the L‑rd, your G‑d, has granted you.” (Deuteronomy 26:1-2, 11)

The first fruits, the bikkurim, were brought from the seven species for which the Land of Israel is praised (wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.) The Mishna describes how when a famer saw the first figs, grapes or pomegranates had ripened, he would tie a thread around them and say, "Behold these are bikkurim,” thus devoting the first fruits to G‑d. These were later placed in simple baskets made from peeled willows and reeds and brought to the holy Temple with gratitude for these gifts of the produce of the land.

In the painting, alizarin crimson pomegranates with calyxes shaped like crowns are interspersed with luscious, purple figs in a basket woven with swirling lines. Surrounded by green leafy branches, the basket is set against a vivacious blue and white sky reflecting the ultimate elevation of the first fruits that are given together with the simple vessel of twigs.

The Mishna depicts, in picturesque language, how the fruits were gathered into baskets and carried on the shoulders of the pilgrims to Jerusalem accompanied by music and singing and thankfulness. In the painting, the free strokes of paint and color convey the celebratory note of this joyous occasion.