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Key facts
Full title Ceres and Harvesting Cupids
Artist Simon Vouet and studio
Artist dates 1590 - 1649
Date made probably 1634-5
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 145.5 x 188 cm
Acquisition credit Bought with a contribution from Mr Edgar Ivens, 1958
Inventory number NG6292
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Ceres and Harvesting Cupids
Simon Vouet and studio
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Ceres, goddess of the earth and fertility, harvests corn with a group of winged infants, known as putti. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Ceres was commonly shown crowned with a garland of corn. She was often depicted as one of the Four Elements (Earth) or one of the Four Seasons (Summer).

The work was probably commissioned by Claude de Bullion (1570–1640), a government official, around 1634/5, when Vouet decorated the gallery at his Paris residence.

Some parts of the composition were painted by Vouet’s studio assistants: there is a lack of finish in areas of the landscape, the two peasants cutting corn and the putti in the foreground. The figure of Ceres has been painted with more skill and is probably by Vouet himself. The area intended for the figure of Ceres was left unpainted by the assistant responsible for painting the surrounding cornfield and trees.

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