Exhibited: Exposition Universelle, Paris, 1900, and Prima Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte Decorativa Moderna, Turin, Italy, 1902 Leaded glass Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company, New York City, 1892–1900 40 1/4 x 39 3/8 in. (57-018)
At the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris, Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933) debuted a magnificent window depicting the four seasons. The Spring panel, its cluster of colorful tulips heralding the earth’s renewal, is just one part of Tiffany’s extraordinary representation of nature’s cycle. Tiffany later divided his Four Seasons window for installation at his Long Island estate, Laurelton Hall. The four main panels went into the living room while the border panels were placed in the garden entrance of the reception hall. Entirely composed of colored, plated, and textured glass, with no painted embellishments at all, the leaded-glass panels represent the highest achievement in Tiffany glassmaking. As a work of art, the panels symbolize the epic structure of life, birth, aging, death, and rebirth. Surviving today with all their brilliant elements, these panels remain central works in understanding Tiffany’s genius, innovation, and place in American design. Above all, they remain objects of splendid beauty.