Bust of Winter

Object Details


Bust of Winter


Paul Heermann (German, 1673 - 1732)




about 1700



Object Number:



65.1 × 63.5 × 33.7 cm (25 5/8 × 25 × 13 1/4 in.)

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Shrouded in a heavy hooded cloak, an elderly man looks down with a deeply furrowed brow. As a personification of winter, the bust gives visual expression to the chilling cold of that season. His old age refers to winter's occurrence at the very end of the calendar year. Paul Heermann used delicate drillwork to create the border and ruffle on the cloak and the undercut locks of his long beard. The shadows made by his protruding forehead and the folds of his hood contrast dramatically with the luminous white of the marble, heightening the figure's psychological force and presence.

This bust was probably part of a series of sculptures personifying the four seasons. At Versailles, Charles Le Brun established the fashion of including statues of the seasons in the program for garden sculpture. The high level of finish and finely worked details of this bust, however, suggest that Winter was meant to be viewed up close, in an indoor setting.

by 1966

Private Dealer (Paris, France), sold to the Heim Gallery, by 1966.

by 1966 - 1982

Heim Gallery (London) (London, England), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1982.

Aspects of French Academic Art 1680 - 1780 (1977) (no. 24.)
  • Heim Gallery (London), June 10 to August 26, 1977

Heim Gallery, London. Aspects of French Academic Art, 1680 1780. June 10 August 26, 1977, unpaginated, lot 24, ill.

Fusco, Peter. Summary Catalogue of European Sculpture in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), pp. 59, 62, ill.

Schmidt, Eike D. Paul Heermann (1673-1732): Meister der Barockskulptur in Böhmen und Sachsen: Neue Aspekte seines Schaffens (Munich: Sascha Mehringer, 2005), pp. 26, 28, 67, ill.

Bialonowska, Magdalena. Andrzej Stanislaw Ciechanowiecki. Kolekcjoner, marszand i mecenas (Lublin: Towarzystwo Naukowe KUL, 2012), p. 156.

Education Resources

Education Resource




Shaping Ideas

In this lesson plan students consider symbolic forms and sketch their own designs for a symbolic sculpture.

Visual Arts


Single Class Lesson

Shaping Ideas

In this lesson students evaluate their own sketches, choose a final design, and create their own symbolic sculpture.

Visual Arts


Three/Five-Part Lesson

Shaping Ideas

In this lesson Students participate in a class critique of the symbolic sculptures they created.

Visual Arts


Single Class Lesson