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Feast & Fast

The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800

30: Summer with Ceres

Summer with Ceres, from The Four Seasons Our 2019-12-04- ‘cereal’ derives from Ceres, goddess of agriculture, who personifies Summer. She rests on a wheat sheaf under the shade of a fruiting tree, a sickle in hand, while keeping a careful eye on the harvesting scene below. Some labourers cut the wheat while others stack it onto a horse-drawn cart, and rake up the gleanings to ensure no waste. In a field higher up, sheep shearing takes place. Around Ceres’ feet luscious ripe fruits and vegetables are strewn. The Zodiac signs that hold sway over the summer months – Cancer, Leo, and Virgo – are shown overhead, but again in reverse order.

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 (3709)

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