After Jacob de Wit; The Allegory of the Four Seasons; A 19thC French Oil On Canvas

Origin: French
Period: 3rd Republic
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1890
Height: 35.75”
Width: 36.5”
Depth: 0.75”

The beautifully worn oils on paper laid to canvas painting, after the original early eighteenth century work The Allegory of the Four Seasons by Jacob De Wit (1695-1754), this version flipped horizontally and on a primitive and thick oak stretcher, depicting four putti, each representing the seasons amidst a bucolic landscape, with a painted mock frame, the whole possibly having been theatrically used and the reverse marked ‘genios des seasons d'ap da. Wit’; and surviving from late nineteenth century France.

The picture remains in completely original attic find condition with no over-painting or attempted restoration and is in part distressed order with water damage, flecked losses and small holes and has not been cleaned or varnished. Please refer to the photographs for a full visual reference. In addition to the marking on the stretcher there is also an indistinguishable signature present. The fact that this is painted to paper and laid to canvas, and that we can see previous layers underneath, suggests also that it was re-used for theatrical purposes.

The Allegory of the Four Seasons is an original old master canvas by the Dutch artist Jacob de Wit, painted in 1723.

The four putti represents four allegories, specifically the allegories of the four seasons. All of them, are indeed one of the four seasons and can be distinguished by typical attributes; the the Winter (the putto is in fact warming up and has his head covered by a blanket); in the upper part we see the Autumn, surrounded by a golden cloak. In the center of the composition there are the Summer and the Spring; the Summer with the flowers that surrounds his body.

Jacob de Wit (Amsterdam, 1695 – Amsterdam, 1754) was a Dutch artist and interior decorator who painted many religious scenes. He was born in Amsterdam and became famous for his door and ceiling paintings. De Wit was one of the pupils of Albert van Spiers in Amsterdam and Jacob van Hal in Antwerp, where he became a member of the Guild of St. Luke in 1714. While in Antwerp, he made a series of watercolor sketches of the Rubens ceilings in the Carolus Borromeuskerk in Antwerp. His pupils were Jan de Groot (painter from The Hague), Dionys van Nijmegen and the brothers Frans and Jacob Xavery.

A very fun and slightly bonkers translation of this wonderful old master painting, and probably one from a theatrical setting.