Allegory of Four Seasons


Italy or France, circa 1800

Terracotta

Height:
Winter 148 cm (58 1/4 in), Spring 158 cm (62 1/8 in),
Summer 154 cm (60 5/8 in), Fall 168 (66 1/8 in)

Our four life-size terracotta figures represent the allegory of the four seasons. Each allegory is embodied by a young woman dressed in antique drapery emphasizing the grace of their bodies and revealing their shoulders. They are accompanied by characteristic attributes of their season.
 
Spring has a wreath of various flowers and holds a bouquet in her right hand. The floral abundance emphasizes the renewal of plants in this season, the most fertile of the year.
Summer, very similar to spring in her composition as a twin sister, is crowned with foliage and holds in her left hand a laurel branch, the symbol of summer and peace.
Autumn carries in her right hand a basket of grapes. This fruit is also found at her feet and adorns her head thus referring to the period of oil changes and the generosity of the harvest. The cup that we see in her left hand and the tambourine at her feet without forgetting her big smile probably evoke the festivity and tipsiness of this season.
Winter is the only one of the four allegories to be deprived of garland in her headdress, then covered with a drape. She is holding a theater mask in her right hand and a holly branch in her left hand. At her right foot, sits on a bundle of wood, a firepot to warm it.
 
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