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Royal Collection © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
The four seasons - Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
XQG 1988 123-126
XQG 2005 Treas
These reliefs were ordered from the sculptor in Florence by the 3rd Earl of Burlington, using models first devised for the Elector Palatine some years earlier. Spring and Winter were the first to be made: they feature respectively Flora, Vertumnus and Pomona, and Mars and Venus at Vulcan's forge. Soldani's bronze reliefs were always intended to hang alongside paintings in a gallery. Summer and Autumn were first modelled in 1711, somewhat later than the other two. Summer is a triumph of Ceres, goddess of agriculture, with her disciple Triptolemus, while in Autumn, the drunken Silenus appears before Bacchus and Ariadne.
The original set, dated 1708 and 1711 are in the National Museum, Munich. A pair of Summer & Autumn plaques are in the Helen Foresman Spencer Museum of Art, Kansas.