Nature or Abundance
Léon Frédéric ( Belgian, 1856 - 1940 )
Léon Frédéric’s dense allegorical painting about the harmony and unity of nature is considered among the most important works produced by the Belgian symbolist movement. It won a gold medal at the Universal Exhibition in Saint Louis in 1904. The central panel of a polyptych, the painting depicts Nature with four children as the four seasons. Nature is represented as a nourishing mother. Spring is at her breast; Winter shivers at her knee; Summer, adorned with wheat sheaves and flowers, leans toward Autumn, sleeping amid a profusion of grapes and fruits. Nature’s head separates the light from the darkness, sun from moon and stars. Frédéric became a leading figure among Les Vingt (The Twenty), the progressive Brussels art group he joined in 1893.
Bonnie Pitman, ed., "Nature or Abundance," in Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012), 227.