|At the First Touch of Winter, Summer Fades Away (1897) Valentine Cameron Prinsep|
Much like the endless paintings of old women in the snow, walking miserably back from church in clogs, this painting speaks of the harshness of life, the change not only in the season but in age. Summer is in the prime of life, but Winter has a hint of grey in her dark hair (which is really attractive, not that I'm biased) and is an older woman. Her gaze is a complicated mix of the inevitable and sorrow as she reaches out, her hand about to touch Summer's shoulder. Winter, bleakness, the cold, and hardship all appear as shorthand for the last years of life in Victorian art and this personification is no different. You could almost say that as she looks at Summer, Winter remembers herself and the memory brings sorrow. Summer remains oblivious to the impending doom, skipping and sprinkling flowers as if her party would never end. Sigh...yes, well, I've heard that many people feel like that and are rudely awaken when their back is cranky on wet days and they go a bit grey and maybe should invest in a stronger face cream to aid their face back into its original form in the mornings. Apparently.
Anyway, may all of your Summers be warm and sunny, and may you dodge the hand of Winter for a little longer.
See you tomorrow.