This group formed part of a series of 24 figures commissioned by Colbert in 1674 and which was originally intended to adorn the Water Parterre. The Seasons in Versailles are represented by figures of men and women bearing attributes that identify them: Winter, the last season of the year, is depicted as an old man. He is cold and tries to warm himself at a brazier from which flames escape. Winter symbolises the end of human life and Girardon has personified it in this pathetic figure of an old man frozen and lost in thought, close to death.
This is part of a series of sculptures of the Grande Commande, commissioned by King Louis XIV in 1674 for the Gardens of Versailles.
The initial project was proposed in 1674 and plans were drawn up by Charles Le Brun as to what the series of 24 sculptures could depict. The idea was to be "designed as a broad review of the effects of God on the world and a unity of man and nature" with personifications of various natural phenomenons and landmarks. The 24 sculptures were separated into individual series of four sculptures, depicting:
The Four Times of the Day - Morning, Midday, Evening, Night
Four Continents of the World - Europe, Asia, Africa, America
The Four Seasons - Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
The Four Elements - Earth, Air, Fire, Water
The Four Human Temperaments - The Choleric, The Phlegmatic, The Sanguine, The Melancholic
The Four Poems - The Heroic Poem, The Lyric, The Satirical, The Pastoral
This object is part of "Scan The World". Scan the World is a non-profit initiative introduced by MyMiniFactory, through which we are creating a digital archive of fully 3D printable sculptures, artworks and landmarks from across the globe for the public to access for free. Scan the World is an open source, community effort, if you have interesting items around you and would like to contribute, email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can help.