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Les quatres saisons (The four seasons)

Les quatres saisons (The four seasons)
Three signed 'jFelon' (lower centre left and right), and titled 'Printemps', 'Ete', 'Automne' and 'Hiver' (lower centre)
oil on canvas
63 3/8 x 31 7/8 (161 x 81 cm.)
Executed circa 1873-4
a set of four
Property of a European Collector; sold Christie's New York East, 25 October 2000, lot 39 (a set of eight).
Special Notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
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Brought to you by

Celia Harvey
Celia Harvey Head of Sale, Specialist

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Lot Essay

A self-taught painter and sculptor, Joseph Félon was a regular and successful exhibitor at the Paris Salons from 1840 through 1882. In depicting The Four Seasons, Félon chooses a theme that links him to a tradition dating from antiquity and that was current through the 18th and 19th centuries. In each of these four large canvases, Félon selects at least one classical attribute. To these he adds elements from his own pictorial vocabulary, giving these extremely decorative works a uniquely modern touch.

Summer stands near a sickle - another classical attribute - and a snake, symbolic of Earth and her fertility - that echo the abundance of the season. Autumn has wound traditional grapes in her hair and stands amongst vines - all the symbols of the season as one would find even in the wall paintings of Pompeii. The open pomegranate, is here a note of the abundance of the harvest. Winter, often depicted since Antiquity by the clothing she wears against the cold, is wrapped in a cloak trimmed with fur and is the only figure to wear shoes standing on the barren ground. Spring holds the same flowers that Venus carried; the turtle doves and butterfly add a charming note.

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