The Four Seasons or The course of History – painted for the Duke of Richelieu (1660-1664)

The Louvre Museum, Richelieu wing, 2d floor, room 16

Les Quatre Saisons constitutes a synthesis of Poussin’s late style: in a setting emphasising the beauty of nature, the theme of the succession of the seasons merges with that of hours, periods of human life; the biblical narrative combines with classical mythology in a synthesis between Christianity and paganism.

Nicolas Poussin - The Four Seasons - Spring  Nicolas Poussin - The Four Seasons - Summer  Nicolas Poussin - The Four Seasons - Automn  Nicolas Poussin - The Four Seasons - Winter

Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter recreate the scenes of the Old Testament and constitute an important piece of painting at the end of the painter’s life, definitively increasing the landscape to the rank of historic painting. A polysemic ensemble of great cohesion, marked by stoicism, les Quatre Saisons reconciles, as Alain Mérot highlights, “different stories: that of humanity, that of nature, that of life moving on”.

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