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Feast & Fast

The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800

31: Autumn with Bacchus

Autumn with Bacchus, from The Four Seasons Bacchus, god of wine, is shown with a garland of grapevines and leaning on a cornucopia overflowing with ripe seasonal produce. In his right hand, he holds an elegant grape- filled tazza from which a stream of wine flows. To the right, a labourer ploughs with a pair of sturdy oxen whilst another climbs a ladder propped against a large wine vat. Wooden wine casks litter the ground, while full ones are carted off. To the left, a swineherd beats the branches of an oak to bring down acorns to feed his pigs. The Zodiac signs governing the autumn months – Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius – hover above the scene.

Maarten de Vos (1532 – 1603)

Antwerp, Belgium, 1587

Brown ink and brown wash, with touches of white and traces of black chalk on paper (stylus work)

Founder’s Bequest, 1816 (3710)

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