The art piece features a verdant vision of an idealized maiden of the South Seas. It also offers an examination of the colonial judgment that the South Seas faces. However, Paul Gauguin, in his true nature, added some individual elements to this painting style. The painting features a post-impressionism style with a flat space, a rhythmic repetition of lines, forms, and areas of color. The artwork appears to be very simple. However, critics have discovered its complexity by dissecting its contents and their meanings. At the foreground of the image is a woman holding fruit. In the background are three other female characters, one who is holding a baby in her arms. The women in the painting feature distinctive Tahitian characteristics.
Paul Gauguin uses these contrasting allusions to create a contradiction in Tahitian culture. The painting features impressions of colors and vegetation. It also features the appearances and rituals of the natives of Tahiti, which Paul used as material for a lot of his artwork. Like most Paul Gauguin paintings, Woman Holding a Fruit is inspired by his time in Tahiti. This painting exemplifies Gauguin’s fondness for eroticizing Oceania. The painting is a reflection of Gauguin's first impression of the South Seas during her trip there. According to Paul, Tahiti embodied the primitive and unspoiled life that he always envisioned and the natural harmony he dreamt of.
The Woman Holding a Fruit has a sister art piece that was completed in the previous year. The sister painting features a woman holding a young wolf instead of a fruit. This part of the image is believed to elude to an episode in the Maori Mythology. The woman with the fruit depicts the Ece of the Eastern Paradise. The woman represents the goddess of death, Oviri. Oviri is watched fearfully by the two other characters (girls) in the background. The goddess’s hair features a blossom, and she is surrounded by tropical vegetation. These two elements elute to the garden of paradise. The garden of paradise is an indication of Hina. Hina is the Maori goddess of fertility. Paul Gauguin also developed several other artworks featuring Tahitian culture and characters. The painting is currently housed in the State Hermitage Museum in Russia. It was highlighted as a permanent collection in the museum since 1948.