Gentle Spring

Gentle Spring

Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys


Oil on canvas

121 x 64 cm.

Collection: © Ashmolean Museum (A372), University of Oxford WA1923.2

“Exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1865 accompanied in the catalogue by a sonnet by the artist's friend, Charles Algernon Swinburne. The figure was painted in the garden of the poet and novelist, George Meredith. She represents Proserpina returning from the land of the dead. Sandys joined Rossetti's circle in 1857 and lived with him in Cheyne Walk for most of 1866. — Ashmolean Museum”

“In Gentle Spring he strikes a note that is purely idyllic. In this beautifully decorative panel the stately and gracious woman chosen by the artist as symbolic of spring is seen advancing to the spectator, while behind her a rainbow gleams against grey clouds and an orchard glows with a wealth of blossom. Her white robe has a border of blue, and in its folds she carries flowers; around her crown of auburn hair copper butterflies hover and flutter, and beside her spring poppies, gorgeous in colour and exquisitely painted. The whole composition is peaceful and serene.” — Percy Bate, The Studio (October 1904): 5

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