The Advent of Spring

WAG 569


Walter Crane was best known for his book illustrations. This watercolour is the original design for an illustration which featured in 'The Quiver of Love. A Collection of Valentines Ancient and Modern' published by Marcus Ward & Company, London, 1876. The book was a collection of love poems that could be used as valentines and included eight illustrations by Crane and Kate Greenaway (1846 - 1901). This particular drawing was used as an illustration for a poem by Edmund Spenser (about 1552 - 1599) called 'Sonnet LXX'. Spenser was a celebrated 16th-century poet, best known for his epic poem 'The Faerie Queene'. 'Sonnet LXX' describes the awakening of life and love after winter. Crane illustrates this transition by depicting a young man playing music to a woman who appears sleepily at the window. The beginning of spring time is symbolised by the fresh daffodils growing in the foreground.