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There seems to be an odd mixture of activities here; some people are farming, while others watch, and mythological figures appear in the background. This is because the artist has drawn on different sources for this set of four paintings. At the centre are the agricultural activities appropriate for each season, in this case shearing sheep and reaping corn, for summer. These scenes are copied from 16th-century paintings by Jacopo and Francesco Bassano, which were widely known from prints. The artist has added people in contemporary 17th-century dress, and the small-scale scenes in the background, here a procession with Ceres, the Roman goddess of farming and corn. The paintings have previously been attributed to the circle of Louis de Caulery, who often depicted aristocratic figures as well as mythological ones, but this cannot be confirmed.
English Heritage, Brodsworth Hall
The Four Seasons: Summer
oil on copper
H 28.9 x W 38.4 cm
purchased at auction, 2001