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The Pleasures of the Seasons: Autumn, c.1730 (oil on copper mounted with masonite backing)
Autumn is the season of Bacchus, god of wine, shown here as a life-size sculpture holding a chalice and a staff bearing clusters of grapes. In the right distance, peasants labor in the vineyards. Drinking revelers and an overturned wooden bucket, from which luscious fruit spills onto the ground, manifest the bounty of autumn. Autumn is also the season of the hunt. At the right, a young hunter offers game to a seated maiden, who responds by giving him a bird she has taken from its cage. The caged bird is a well-established symbol of virginity, its escape from the cage indicating the fallen status of its owner.