Dec 8, 2005


The Seasons



Part of a set. See all set records

Wenceslaus Hollar

(Bohemian, 1607–1677)


Mr. and Mrs. Lewis B. Williams Collection 1959.317.4

Catalogue raisonné: Parthey 609



Increments of time, such as the seasons, were one of the most popular subjects for printed sets. Wenceslaus Hollar alone made six different versions. Hollar was a professional printmaker with over 3,000 prints to his credit. Born in Bohemia, he worked in Germany, London, and Antwerp. He came to London in 1636 while in the employ of the Earl of Arundel, an important collector that Hollar met in Germany. Apparently free to pursue independent projects, Hollar designed and etched this series around 1643–44. Here, each season is personified by elegantly clad ladies, appropriately dressed for their particular climate, with recognizable landmarks in and around London in the backgrounds. The inscriptions, in an older version of English, are slightly suggestive, in keeping with the lighthearted character of the imagery. The building on the extreme right is the Tun. It was built in 1283 and served as a lockup for drunks and other public offenders. The inscription reads: "The cold, not cruelty makes her wear / In Winter, furs and Wild beasts hair / For a smoother skin at night, / Embrace her with more delight."

See also
PR - Etching
Type of artwork: 

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