Wednesday 11 March 2015


It’s about time it started getting more jolly outside, weather-wise.  Heavens, March didn’t so much come in like a lion, but more like a bag of frozen peas, lobbed at you in a cold shower.  Most unpleasant.  However, yesterday I did seed planting and garden weeding and general outdoor tending.  All this malarkey obviously brings me to images of Victorian spring-frolics!

Spring (Apple Blossom) (1859) J E Millais
Ah, that’s the life!  Lazing around in the spring sunshine, drinking milk out of one giant bowl after scything something.  Possibly the strangest picnic in art (yes, even including that nudey French one), still this gives the impression of the happy, carefree industry of spring, where the weather is just right to get outside and do stuff, then lie back and enjoy the warmth.

Spring Flowers (1851) George Smith
There is something about children and spring, irresistibly drawn together in Victorian art.  The year is young, the children are young, everything is full of promise and happiness, what could be nicer?

Spring (1864) William McTaggart
Even if this one has odd overtones of Spencer Stanhope’s Robins of Modern Times, still it gives the feeling of jolly children sprawling in the sunshine like little lambs, enjoying the pleasure of nature.  It might be the parent in me, but they are a little too close to that stream for my liking.  Sorry, I digress.  Look how green the grass is, how clear the sky is!  Isn’t nature magical?

A Spring Roundelay (1910) Edward Atkinson Hornel
Okay, now this one has overtones of The Roses of Heliogabalus, which can’t be a good thing.  I mean, I love spring but have no real wish for it to smother me in its loveliness until I suffocate.  Hornel’s pictures always look a bit like that, as if you are in the middle of some sort of really pretty natural disaster which people seem to be enjoying.

A Spring Idyll (1900) Thomas Bromley Blacklock
See, that’s much nicer.  Spring should be all about going outside, sitting with your ducks, combing out your hair in the warm and sweet-smelling garden.  That’s what March is all about, isn’t it?

Bleak March Frederick Hall
Oh, there’s always one, isn’t there?  Well, not this year!  Begone, Mr Hall, and your snowy sheep!  Bring on the sunshine and glorious blue sky!

A Study, In March John William Inchbold
That’s better.  I was walking the dog the other day and the scene was just like this – glorious clear, bright sky, the faintest smudge of powdered cloud and the sage and earth of nature all lit up and glorious.  Hurrah for spring indeed!

In the Springtime Frederick William Jackson
Quick, I urge you to go out and gambol among the lambs in the nearest field.  You’ll feel the better for it and people very rarely press charges for such behaviour in my experience.  Sheep seem to be the honorary animal of the season, I suppose because lambs are so cute and delicious, sorry, plentiful at this time of year, frolicking around the fields like maniacs.  You don’t get to see calves or chicks getting such exposure.  Possibly the lambs just have better PR?

Spring in the Birch Wood  George Henry
Woods get a good viewing in spring, possibly because they come to life with blue bells, leaves, the dappling of light through branches onto the verdant green plush of the forest floor.  Makes you want to run wild and remove your hat in public.

A Spring Revel (1916) Robert Anning Bell
Look, I love Spring, but when I said 'run wild', I meant taking off your hat not getting a mob of noisy friends together and running around with your thrups out.  For goodness sake, pull yourself together!

The Renaissance of Spring (1911) Joseph Franklin Kershaw
Oh for goodness sake! I hope her back garden is not overlooked.  You can’t get away with baring all among the crocuses around our way, next door have a very sensitive security light.  For some reason Spring is not only personified by jolly children but also attention-seeking young women, flashing their wherewithal from under a bedspread. It’s still quite chilly in the mornings you know, no wonder everything is so perky.

Spring Lowell Dyer
As lovely as all this is, I’m not sure I want to encourage any displays of public nudity, least of all my own.  Let’s be terribly English about this and reassure ourselves that we are frolicking naked underneath at least three layers and a cardigan.  Dyer’s maiden can waft about in something diaphanous; I’m keeping my thermals on.

Spring (1904) Maximilian Lenz

Now that’s more like it.  I like a massive frock and cloak, and what’s that on her head?  Brilliant.  Nice peacock too.  However, I do feel it is a little dark and doesn’t feel spring-like enough for my liking…

Blossoms of Spring William Shackleton

 Yes, that’ll do it.  Eye-blisteringly vivid, with gorgeous clouds and a rainbow as well!  This truly says to me ‘Winter is over, let’s go bonkers!’ in the most glorious manner.  There’s a pond, some ducks, a cherry tree covered in blossom. It’s all marvellous and makes you want to frolic around in the sunshine enjoying the daylight and vitamin D.  Well, run free and happy spring-time, my lovely readers, and may you gambol, frolic and remain as fully clothed as is legal...


  1. Your posts are always entertaining and uplifting which is more than I can say for 'Spring' in my neck of the woods. It is definitely grim up north!

  2. It's sunny here but still cold. I won't be put off, I shall frolic in the sunlight (but will keep my vest on)...

  3. And here Persephone seems rather surprised. Perhaps there is still something of a chill in the air...

    The Spring Witch by George Wilson


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