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Four monumental 18th century busts of the four seasons (detail - Winter)

An early 18th century set of four marble busts of monumental proportion of the four seasons.

This series of four busts on pedestals representing the Four Seasons follows a long artistic tradition.
A much favoured allegorical subject in Western Art the four figures are represented here under the appearance of three ancient Greek Gods.
Flora, goddess of Greenery with flowers, Ceres, Goddess of the harvest with corn in her hair, and Bacchus, God of wine with grapes in his hair. Winter is portrayed as a robust old man wrapped in a cloak.

Italian, circa 1720
Such busts were incredibly popular in Italy in the 18th century and would have been placed in a garden to mimic the Graeco-Roman gardens and statue of old. These four busts of monumental size have lived most of their lives outdoors, and the white marble used deliberately to mimic the marble used by Greek and Roman sculptures has weather accordingly giving a worn, aged look to the faces and folds of deeply carved drapery.

Provenance: Private collection, London.

Height: 36 in; 91.5 cm
Width: 36 in; 91.5 cm

Reference: 3367

Price: £135,000

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