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  • Winter

    Artist:
    Falconet, Étienne-Maurice. 1716-1791
    Dimensions:
    135 cm

Falconet, Étienne-Maurice. 1716-1791

Winter

France, Between 1763 and 1771

In 1763 Falconet was commissioned to produce this work for his first patron, Madame de Pompadour, favourite of the French King Louis XV. The death of Madame de Pompadour in the following year, however, put an end to work on the sculpture. After negotiations regarding a trip by Falconet to Russia to produce the now famous monument to Peter I (the "Bronze Horseman"), the unfinished statue was acquired by Catherine II and in 1766 sent to St Petersburg, where Falconet completed it upon his arrival. At first, it was decided to put the sculpture in the Botanical Garden and therefore Winter is shown as a young woman draping her robe over the top of some flowers. At her feet is a broken cup containing frozen water, symbol of the cold of winter, while the cube on which she sits is decorated with signs of the zodiac for the winter months. The strict simplicity of the composition, the precise contours of the figure and the realistic treatment of details indicate how carefully the artist combined the language of allegory with truth to nature. Contemporaries received the work as a masterpiece and the artist himself wrote: "This might be the very best work which I can do; I even dare to think that it is good."

Title:

Winter

Place:

Material:

Dimensions:

135 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1932; transferred from the Gatchina Palace Museum

Inventory Number:

Н.ск-1875

Category:

Collection:

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