The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 2, 2024

The Four Seasons

The Four Seasons

(French, 1824–1895)
(French, 1824–1904)
(French, 1824–1888)
(French, 1821–1874)
Framed: 75 x 66.5 x 7 cm (29 1/2 x 26 3/16 x 2 3/4 in.); Unframed: 56.3 x 46.5 cm (22 3/16 x 18 5/16 in.)
Location: not on view


The artists who painted this work belonged to a group called the Néo-Grecs (New Greeks). They concentrated on depicting scenes of daily life in ancient Greece and Rome—often with an erotic slant. Here, relying on a popular Greco-Roman theme, the four works represent the seasons and their associated activities: the pursuit of love in spring; bathing in summer; harvesting grapes in fall; and a funerary ritual in winter. The decorative gold, black, and red borders also enhance the classical aspect of the work by recalling the painted wall decorations of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. The artists painted this work for their friend, French actor Edmond Got (1822–1901). They likely presented this picture to him in commemoration of his election to the Comédie- Francaise acting company and as a memento of their friendship.
  • Edmond F. Got, Paris. London sale, Christie's, 20 February 1976 (lot 148), property of a Belgian collector, pl. 31, £1000. Shepherd Gallery, New York. Bought in February 1976 by Mr. and Mrs. Noah L. Butkin, Cleveland. Bequeathed to the CMA in 1980.
  • Argencourt, Louise d', and Roger Diederen. Catalogue of Paintings. Pt. 4. European Paintings of the 19th Century. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 1974. Mentioned and reproduced: P. 86-89, Vol. I, no. 33
    Ackerman, Gerald M. Jean-Léon Gérôme: monographie révisée, catalogue raisonné mis à jour. Courbevoie: ACR, 2000. Reproduced and mentioned: p. 218, cat. 30
  • Year in Review: 1980. The Cleveland Museum of Art (organizer) (June 24-July 19, 1981).
  • {{cite web|title=The Four Seasons|url=false|author=Henry Picou, Jean-Léon Gérôme, Gustave Rodolphe Boulanger, Jean-Louis Hamon|year=1850|access-date=02 March 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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