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The Seasons

Aristide Maillol (1861-1944)

Flora, 1911, bronze
Pomona, 1910, bronze A. Bingen et Costenoble
Spring, 1911, bronze Alexis Rudier
Summer, 1911, bronze

Why is this work so important?

Aristide Maillol executes this group of statues in 1910 and 1911. They are major works of the artist because they were executed without a model, except for Pomona.

Life-sized sculptures

Around the age of 40, Maillol began to devote himself almost exclusively to sculpture. The general public acknowledged his talent, and his aura went beyond the circles of the Paris avant-garde. In 1910, the wealthy collector, Ivan Abramovich Morozov, commissioned four life-size bronzes from him. This was how The Seasons were born. Two divinities - Flora and Pomona – stand facing two mortals embodying Spring and Summer.
Flora, dressed in a long, clinging tunic, is holding a small bunch of flowers. Spring has placed a garland of foliage across her breast in the manner of a necklace. Summer is personified by a female bather with a turban on her head, drying herself in the sun. Maillol’s admiration for feminine beauty is obvious in this set of statues. In fact, it rapidly became the sole subject of his œuvre.

In detail

Crowned with a garland of flowers, Pomona is holding three apples, symbol of the fertility of the earth and femininity.

Did you know?

There is an opposition between these four statues: the willowy bodies of Flora and Spring, and the full, blooming figures of Pomona and Summer. The contrasts correspond to the placing of the sculptures in Morozov’s music room: they were designed to face each other from the four corners of the room.