Ferdinando Vichi, a well-established sculptor from the Florentine School, is popularly best known for his marble titled Cupid and Psyche of which numerous examples in different dimensions frequently surface at auction. The pinnacle of his career was his involvement in the 1898 memorial erected in the cathedral of Santa Croce to honor the composer Gioacchino Rossini.
The allegory of the four seasons has long been associated with the cycle of life, and the personifications of the four seasons are usually female figures because of their reproductive abilities. Although in examples such as Bartolomeo Manfredi's painting titled Allegory of the Four Seasons (circa) 1610 it is notable that sometimes male figures have been used to personify autumn and winter. Particularly after the Rococo period, most allegories of the four seasons have been predominantly depicted as female figures.
In the present sculpture group of The Four Seasons, the kneeling figure on the left hails the arrival of a new season with a salutation that is welcoming in its nature. This youthful and hopeful figure personifies Spring - the rebirth of nature full of potential and prospect. Next to her stands Summer, proudly carrying the haystack harvested during the month of August over her right shoulder, and to her left is the lusciously draped figure of Autumn carrying the wine grapes harvested in October. Her barely clothed bosom and the fact that she is the only figure making eye contact with the viewer carry a bacchanalian undertone with respect to sexuality and the cycle of life. The fourth and final figure kneeling on the right wears a cloak and is gathering twigs for a fire, thereby personifying the cold season of Winter.
This masterful sculpture grouping is also mounted on an outstanding Belle Epoque style green marble pedestal from the turn of the century displaying the opulence and grandeur of the times.