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Valentin de Boulogne: 'The Four Ages of Man'
This is probably the 'Quatre ages de l'homme' by Valentin mentioned in the inventory of Michel Particelli, Seigneur d'Hémery, Paris, 1650. The picture was certainly in the celebrated collection of the Dukes of Orléans during most of the 18th century.

Infancy (centre foreground) holds an empty bird trap, perhaps symbolising hope; Youth (left) plays a lute, probably symbolising amorous desire; Manhood (right), in armour, wears a victor's laurel wreath and holds a plan of fortifications; Age (centre background) is associated with a pile of coins, symbol of avarice. The glass he holds may be symbolic of the fragility of life.

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