It has long been debated what these groups are meant to represent. The bases have obvious ties to the seasons, but the relationship between the gods and the various portraits and scenes between them remain an enigma. For example, the love between Mars and Venus can be seen as an allegory of Beauty and Valour, or the conquest of Strife by Love, but what this has to do with Hercules and Spring remains to be seen. Cf. Adams, op. cit., p. 141, no. 386; L. and Y. Adams, op. cit., p. 78; Berling, op. cit., p. 54, fig. 119 and Walcha, op. cit., pp. 476-7, fig. 79 (for Winter only); anonymous sale, Christie's, London, 4 February 1980, lot 120; anonymous sale, Christie's, Amsterdam, 30 October 2001 (for Spring only); and anonymous sale, Christie's, London, 10 July 2007, lot 177 (for Spring only). It is interesting to note that in the present example the jug held by Bacchus and the covered cup beside him both are marked with blue crossed swords.