© Musei Civici d’Arte Antica Bologna

Name of Object:

Allegory of Autumn


Bologna, Italy

Holding Museum:

Collezioni Comunali d'Arte



Type of object:



Pier Francesco Cittadini (1613/1616, Milan-1681, Bologna)

Period of activity:

Second half seventeenth-century

Museum Inventory Number:

P 149

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Oil on canvas

Place of production:



137,6 x 189 cm

Workshop / Movement:

Followers of Guido Reni




This painting is part of a series representing the Four Seasons. It was painted by Pier Francesco Cittadini, a Milanese artist who was a follower of Guido Reni of Bologna. The cycle is described by the eighteenth-century art historian Luigi Crespi in his book Felsina Pittrice, printed in 1769. At that time, it was the property of a noble Bolognese family, the Counts Legnani. Spring and Summer are today housed in the Galleria Estense in Modena; Winter and Autumn hang together in the same room in the Collezioni Comunali d'Arte in Bologna. Wreaths of fruit and vegetables frame landscapes with mythological scenes connected with the seasons. Autumn is symbolised by Bacchus with a vine wreath on his head and a thyrsus in his hand. On the right a drunken Silenus lays down next to a vat. Vine-shoots, pumpkins and pomegranates frame the scene. Cittadini learned this kind of composition, a mixture of still life, mythological scenes and landscape, typical of Flemish painters, during his stay in Rome.

View Short Description

Original Owner:

Count Legnani

How date and origin were established:

The series of the Four Seasons is generally connected for stylistic reasons with the garlands of flowers and fruit painted by Cittadini for the Ducal palace in Sassuolo (Gallery of Bacchus), a summer residence of the Este family, where he worked from 1650.

How Object was obtained:

This painting together with its pendant, Winter, entered the municipal collections in 1930, through the bequest of Marquis Pier Ignazio Rusconi.

Selected bibliography:

Lorusso De Leo, F. “Pier Francesco Cittadini”, L'arte degli estensi(exhibition catalogue) (eds. D. Benati and F. Frisoni), Modena, 1986, p. 202.
Colombi Ferretti, A. “Pier Francesco Cittadini detto il Milanese”, Natura morta in Italia (eds. F. Zeri  and F. Porzio), Milan, 1989,  II, p. 460.
Mazza, A. in Collezioni Comunali d'Arte. L'Appartamento del Legato in Palazzo d'Accursio, Bologna, 1989,  pp. 59-60, figg. 51-52.
Mazza, A. “La pittura a Bologna nella seconda metà del Seicento”, La pittura in Emilia e in Romagna. Il Seicento (ed. A. Emiliani), Milan, 1994, p. 248.
Benati, D. “Pier Francesco Cittadini”, La natura morta in Emilia-Romagna (eds. D. Benati and L. Peruzzi), Milan, 2000, p. 86.

Citation of this web page:

Elisabetta  Berselli "Allegory of Autumn" in Discover Baroque Art , Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=objects;BAR;it;Mus12;16;en&id=still_life

Prepared by: Elisabetta BerselliElisabetta Berselli

SURNAME: Berselli
NAME: Elisabetta

AFFILIATION Musei Civici d’Arte Antica - Bologna

TITLE Art Historian

Graduated and specialized in History of Art at the University of Bologna. She is a specialist in Bolognese sixteenth-century painting. Since 1999 she has been working for the Musei Civici d’Arte Antica di Bologna, cataloguing the works of art in the Collezioni Comunali d’Arte Antica, writing essays, co-curating exhibitions, and educational texts for adult visitors.

Translation by: Antonella MampieriAntonella Mampieri

SURNAME: Mampieri
NAME: Antonella

AFFILIATION: Musei Civici d’Arte Antica, Bologna

TITLE: Art Hitorian

Graduated and specialised at the University of Bologna. She is a specialist in Bolognese late Baroque art, namely sculpture. Among other subjects she has been studying nineteenth-century funerary art in the Bologna monumental cemetery, la Certosa.

Translation copyedited by: Lisa Kelman

MWNF Working Number: IT2 17

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