The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
The Four Seasons: Venus as Spring
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • The Four Seasons: Venus as Spring
  • France
  • probably early 18th century
  • Statuette
  • Bronze and gold, gilded
  • Height: 84.5 cm
  • S172
  • Front State Room
Further Reading
  • This figure belongs to a set of four bronze statuettes representing personifications of the seasons: Venus, accompanied by a young Cupid and with garlands of roses, for Spring (S172); Ceres with a sheaf of corn, for Summer (S173); Bacchus, god of wine, holding a cup in his left hand and a bunch of grapes in his right, for Autumn (S174); and Winter personified by an old man warming up at the heat emanating from a brazier at his feet (S175).

    The models for these figures have stylistic and compositional elements that can be linked to numerous artists working for Louis XIV at Versailles in the late seventeenth century, all often inspired by the work of the first sculptor to the king, François Girardon (1628–1715).

    A set of four full-scale marble figures clearly linked to our set was on the art market in 2002 and has recently been tentatively attributed to Pierre Mazeline (1632-1708) based on his posthumous inventory who also worked for the king at Versailles.

    However, it is possible that the models for the four seasons were provided by different artists, as there are quite substantial stylistic differences between the female figure and the somewhat heavier male ones.