The Advent of Spring
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.