Oil on canvas
Framed: 76.5 x 66 x 9 cm (30 1/8 x 26 x 3 9/16 in.); Unframed: 65.3 x 53.5 cm (25 11/16 x 21 1/16 in.)
Gift of Harry D. Kendrick 1952.540
Spring and Summer are two scenes from a series of the four seasons. Both Autumn and Winter are now in the Museu d'Art de Catalunya in Barcelona. These landscapes were originally a part of a screen or a decorative panel, as indicated by their floral borders and oval shape. The setting of Spring is believed to be the grounds of Montmorency, the country estate of Pierre Crozat (1665-1740), a wealthy financier and art collector in early eighteenth-century Paris. The walkway is very similar to other scenes by Watteau known to depict the estate of his close friend and patron Crozat. As a student of Watteau, Pater would have also been familiar with this setting. Summer counters Spring's aristocratic leisure by depicting rural labor. However, befitting the work's decorative origins, Pater's scene belongs to the tradition of the timeless pastoral. More idyllic than a statement about class differences, the reapers peacefully gather sheaves of wheat as shepherds rest with their flocks in the foreground.
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