About this artwork
Winter presents Saturn (the god of agriculture and time) and Juventas (the cupbearer to the gods on Mount Olympus) on a large cloud. The musical instruments and the mask at Juventas’s feet allude to ballet performances and masked balls—the favored pastimes of the French court—while Saturn holds a floral wreath that features a ballet scene. In the foreground, a variety of winter vegetables are visible, along with a cage, nets, a gun, and game of various kinds: the results of a successful hunt. The buildings in the background on the right of the tapestry are identifiable as the Palais du Louvre in Paris. The border imitates a gilt wood frame and contains shell garlands above and below cartouches that feature interlocking Ls surmounted by a crown, a cipher of French king Louis XIV (r. 1643–1715). The tapestry is from a series based on the Four Seasons (Autumn is also in the Art Institute’s collection), after a design by Charles Le Brun, who was appointed director of the Gobelins Manufactory in 1663.
Currently Off View
- Charles Le Brun
- Winter, from The Seasons
- Wool and silk, slit and double interlocking tapestry weave
- 540.07 × 384.81 cm (212 5/8 × 151 1/2 in.)
- Gift of the Hearst Foundation in memory of William Randolph Hearst