The Four Seasons - Set of four Empire Bronzes

Russia, circa 1810-1820.

Gilt bronze, marble

Height: 34,5 cm (13.6 inch)
Plinth : 11 x 11 cm (4.3 x 4.3 inch) Ref No: 2154

A rare and very decorative set of four gilt bronze figurines of ancient goddesses emblematic of the four seasons. Each figure standing on a square pedestal made of green and yellow marble with a central ormolu floral ornament and an accanthus leave border. Flora wearing a flower wreath is holding a dove and a further flower wreath in her hands is representing spring. The goddess Demeter holding a wheat spray and a sickle in her hands is symbolizing summer. The fall is shown as a young maenad, a female follower of Dionysos with wines leaves in her hair holding a cup and a thyrsos (a pine-cone tipped staff). Winter is represented by a naked female figure barely covered with a scarf (probably the greek horae Cheimon?).

These bronze figures where probably decorative elements of a large and important centerpiece. Similar sculptures of ancient gods of exactely the same size are known made by the renowned Berlin bronzier workshop Werner & Mieth, following designs of Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841). He is firsly known for his architectural works, but he also designed works of art such as furniture and decorative objects.