Winter with Aeolus, from The Four Seasons Winter is personified by a muscly Aeolus, god of the winds, who brandishes a bridle, symbolic of the fast horses that traditionally represented the powerful winds. Between his legs, a small wind-god blows icy blasts, causing his drapery to billow and long beard to unfurl. At his feet, winter vegetables, gourds, and edible roots are strewn. Overhead, the Zodiac signs of the Winter months hover: Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. Interestingly, they are in their correct order, when reading from left to right, indicating that de Vos had forgotten that he was supposed to reverse the order for print-making, an oversight rectified in the engraved version.
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 (3711)