»   "L'Estate", dalla serie de Le Quattro Stagioni, di Paolo Bril
    Paolo Bril (1554-1626) was a landscape painter born in Antwerp. He came to Rome in 1574 and stayed there until he died. Italian painting influenced him only very slightly and he marks the transition between the landscape painters of the 16th and 17th centuries.
"Summer” gives a picture of the work of reaping. In the foreground, a pause for rest and the peasants’ refreshments, loaves of bread on the grass and flasks of wine, a donkey uneasy in the summer heat. In the background, a castle on a hilltop and the soft green of fields and hills.
In "Spring” he shows refined, bucolic images, against the background of a magnificent patrician garden; fountains, scenes of dancing on the grass, lutes left lying on the lawn, while in the foreground an unknown knight is paying his respects to a noblewoman attended by children and nursemaids.
In "Autumn” the theme is the classic one of the grape harvest. In the foreground the grape-picking and the work around the casks are described. In the background, towers, farmhouses, hills, appear in a play of light and shade, which defines the various planes. A flight of birds in the rosy sky, on the left, is like a forewarning of the first cold weather.
Lastly, "Winter” depicts the work of the woodcutters, with stacks of wood lined up in the foreground, trees laden with snow. Two shepherds, one on foot and the other riding a mule, wrapped in a big cloak, are driving a flock. The different planes are marked by little snow-covered rises, woods and castles; there is an urban landscape in the background, with walls, domes and towers, which without a doubt pick out a particular view of the Roman suburbs.
The four frescoes nicely combine the characteristics of Paolo Bril’s painting: the delicacy of the colours, the alternation of planes through lights and shadows, a careful and inquisitive observation of the details of everyday life.
  |   top   |  close