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By Picard, Henri (French, fl. 1831-1864)
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The candelabra stand on rectangular bases, which each rest on two scrolled end feet, and a central toupie foot, bracketed by curling foliage. Each candelabrum base features a pair of putti. Together, these putti represent the four seasons of the year. One candelabra features the Summer and Winter putti, and the other Spring and Autumn.
Summer is depicted as a nude putto, carrying a basket full of ripe grapes in one hand, and holding a glass of wine in the other. On the same base, Winter sits huddled up, clasping a shawl that is tightly wrapped around his body, to protect himself from the cold.
On the other candelabra, Spring is pictured semi-nude, with flowers in his lap, and in his raised right hand. On the right, Autumn stands and carries a sheaf of freshly-harvested wheat under his left arm.
The crossed branches that decorate the front of the candelabra bases correspond with the putti sculptures above. One on candelabra, an apple tree branch and grape vine lies underneath Summer, while Winter is accompanied by a branch from a pine tree. On the second item, Spring is coupled with a rose branch, and Autumn with a sheaf of wheat.
Cast as palm trees, the candelabra stems extend upwards to form ten arms. These organically curling arms terminate in leafy drip-pans, flower bud capitals and candle tubes.
‘H. Picard’ is stamped onto the candelabra bases. The craftsman, Henri Picard, was an exceptionally skilled bronzier, who founded The Maison Picard in Paris in 1831. Picard supplied a number of bronze works to the French Emperor, Napoleon III, which are now on display in the Louvre museum in Paris.
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