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Seasonal Imagery

Posted on March 20 2018

Here at the Gallery, we are looking out the window at about twelve inches of snow! Nevertheless, the first day of Spring is today! We’re all thinking about the coming buds on the trees and time spent outdoors with the barbecue. Whether you are eager to jump into the heat or hoping to get a few more days enjoying the slopes, take a look at this series of Neoclassical reliefs to appreciate all four seasons.
 

 
Prolific Danish artist Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844) created the Four Seasons in 1836. Inspired by classical art, Thorvaldsen was a master of imitating ancient Greek and Roman art styles. It wasn’t just style that connected his work to the past—he also depicted ancient stories, scenes, and allegories in his work as he did for the Four Seasons.
 
In Spring, a young woman creates flowered wreaths with the help of two boys; in Summer, a young couple takes a break from harvesting wheat; in Autumn, a woman nurses her child as her husband returns from hunting; and in Winter, an older couple stays warm indoors by a chafing-dish. Thorvaldsen designed these reliefs to not only reflect the seasons, but the stages of life as well, beginning with Spring. Though there are many interpretations, some of us here like to think of the four plaques as depicting the same couple throughout the stages of life—which makes it a great wedding gift!
 
Although this imagery is more symbolic than literal to us nowadays, we can still feel the temperature and essence of the depicted season in Thorvaldsen’s Four Seasons.

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