Eric's at Romancing the Blog today, asking about romances set in autumn.
This picture of Cymon and Iphigenia, although it looks autumnal to me because of the colour-scheme, actually proves Eric's point that "When it comes to love, [...] Spring has always gotten all the best publicity". According to Giovanni Boccacio in the Decameron (Fifth Day, Novel 1), the encounter took place as follows:
'twas the month of May--a mass of greenery; and, as he traversed it, he came, as Fortune was pleased to guide him, to a meadow girt in with trees exceeding tall, and having in one of its corners a fountain most fair and cool, beside which he espied a most beautiful girl lying asleep on the green grass, clad only in a vest of such fine stuff that it scarce in any measure veiled the whiteness of her flesh, and below the waist nought but an apron most white and fine of texture; and likewise at her feet there slept two women and a man, her slaves. No sooner did Cimon catch sight of her, than, as if he had never before seen form of woman, he stopped short, and leaning on his cudgel, regarded her intently, saying never a word, and lost in admiration. And in his rude soul, which, despite a thousand lessons, had hitherto remained impervious to every delight that belongs to urbane life, he felt the awakening of an idea, that bade his gross and coarse mind acknowledge, that this girl was the fairest creature that had ever been seen by mortal eye.Appropriately for an academic blog about romance, love has the power to change Cimon: although previously "neither his tutor's pains, nor his father's coaxing or chastisement, nor any other method had availed to imbue him with any tincture of letters or manners", having met and fallen in love with Iphigenia, "Cimon, whose heart, closed to all teaching, love's shaft, sped by the beauty of Iphigenia, had penetrated, did now graduate in wisdom with such celerity as to astonish his father and kinsmen, and all that knew him."
Getting back to autumn, I imagine the season personified, looking rather like the sleeping Iphigenia,
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twinèd flowers. (from John Keats's Ode to Autumn)
The painting of Cymon and Iphigenia is by Frederic Leighton, 1st Baron Leighton and comes from Wikimedia Commons. More details about it are available here. Leighton's Flaming June has a similar colour-scheme and depicts a similarly somnolent female.