A Rare Pair of George III Period Painted Lead Putti Representing Spring & Summer c.1800

Origin: English
Period: George III
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1800
Height: 14.5 & 14”
Width: 7”
Depth: 7”or Bases at 6” round

The beautifully modelled lead putti, of good size and hand painted in black and red, representing two of the four seasons, one holding a basket of flowers emblematic of spring, the other with sickle and freshly cut wheat, and of summer, both surviving in untouched condition from George III period England.

The condition of the wholes is good with only some expected misshaping of the lead to the bases, with the wheat cutter example bearing a slight lean. They both display an attractive weathered patina and texture and could be displayed just as well inside as out. The red painted highlights are unusual and are almost akin to red coral.

The Four Seasons are a set of four stone allegorical putti, each representing a traditional, temperate season. They are an ancient decorative motif and each season is represented as an allegorical figure bearing traditional iconographic symbols. The Romans typically represented the seasons as voluptuous goddesses known as the Horae. This imagery carried over into neoclassical art and later became especially popular as garden sculpture. Putti (re-popularized in the Renaissance) became common allegorical figures and often took over the role of the Horae, as here. This change in preference may have occurred because putti are more innocuous than the sexualised goddesses of antiquity.

Scarce early examples of their type and oh so wonderfully decorative.