The genius of Poussin seems to have gained vigor with age. Nearly his last works, which were begun in 1660, and sent to Paris 1664, were the four pictures, allegorical of the seasons, which he painted for the Duc de Richelieu. He chose the terrestrial paradise, in all the freshness of creation, to designate spring. The beautiful story of Boaz and Ruth formed the subject of summer. Autumn was aptly pictured, in the two Israelites bearing the bunch of grapes from the Promised Land. But the masterpiece was Winter, represented in the Deluge. This picture has been, perhaps, the most praised of all Poussin's works. A narrow space, and a very few persons have sufficed him for this powerful representation of that great catastrophe. The sun's disc is darkened with clouds; the lightning shoots in forked flashes through the air: nothing but the roofs of the highest houses are visible above the distant water upon which the ark floats, on a level with the highest mountains. Nearer, where the waters, pent in by rocks, form a cataract, a boat is forced down the fall, and the wretches who had sought safety in it are perishing: but the most pathetic incident is brought close to the spectator. A mother in a boat is holding up her infant to its father, who, though upon a high rock, is evidently not out of reach of the water, and is only protracting life a very little.