The Four Seasons,
Lace and Needle by Aemilia Ars. Organized by Francesca Bencivenni - FB Merletti for Centergross on occasion of Milano Expo 2015
This work was carried out for the first time by the "Società anonima cooperativa merletti e ricami a punto antico - Aemilia Ars" (Public limited company cooperative association of laces and embroidery with punto antico – Aemilia Ars) for the International Exhibition of Sempione in 1906 held in Milan, when however it was destroyed during the devastating fire that broke out on the night of 3 August in the nearby pavilion. 109 years later, we now have the possibility to bring back to Expo 2015 always in Milan, thanks to the sponsorship by Centergross in Bologna, the copy of the same work of art. This work is divided in two parts: the central one showing the four figures representing life's and agriculture's seasons, taken from the fourth book by Cesare Vecellio dated 1601: " Jewel of the crown for the noble and virtuous women" and the outer frame, containing arches and roses that was drawn at the beginning of 1900 by the artists of the Aemilia Ars Society.
This Society was born, for the first time on 3rd December 1898 in Bologna, with the objective of reviving from banality the decorative arts, taking inspiration from nature, considering the Renaissance as a model for beauty of arts and of greatest handicraft's perfection. After this first society was dissolved, a second one was born 5 years later always in Bologna intended to continue only the art of embroidery and lace making the city of Bologna known all over the world as centre of excellence also in this field. Examining the work, we can notice that nature is surely the prevailing element and its details make this piece unique: the four Florentine Lilies in the corners probably pay tribute to Renaissance Florence; each figure is caught while performing the typical season's work; the clothes are reproduced with greatest attention and each one is different from any other one; the hands, important to work, are here well caught while grabbing tool like sickle and hatchet or quite simply while picking the products of the soil like a bunch of grape to be squeezed and turned into wine, as it is the case for autumn.
Seasons correspond also to men's life: spring is the youth, then summer and autumn are more "mature" until we reach winter, an old man, at the end of his life who is portrayed bearing a long beard while he's pruning trees for firewood and for poking the fire, surrounded by bare nature.