Abraham Bloemaert

Dutch, 1566ā€“1651

The Four Seasons, c. 1600

ink, wash on paper

14.7 x 29.4 cm

Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with the assistance of the Women's Committee

G-65-161

Categories:

Drawing, Works on Paper

This lively preparatory study for a painting by the influential Dutch artist Abraham Bloemaert of Utrecht, depicts the four figures representing the Allegories of the Four Seasons, a popular subject in seventeenth-century northern and French painting. Bloemaert makes the most of twisting and elongated forms of the Mannerist style in this figural composition. Spring is a young woman with spade and fresh foliage in hand. Summer wears a wide-brimmed hat and holds a sickle while leaning on a thick sheaf of grain. Autumn, associated with the vine, presents a generous bundle of ripe grapes. Winter, a figure more heavily clad than the rest, has a steady stream of raindrops extending from his hand while bracing against the cold north wind. Bloemaert trained in Utrecht where he was one of the founders of the paintersā€™ guild, following which he travelled to Paris in 1581 where he was exposed to the work of the School of Fontainebleau.

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