About the artwork
‘Spring’, also known as ‘Apple Blossoms’, was painted by the Pre-Raphaelite artist John Millais. He exhibited it at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition of 1859. This was the most important venue of the Victorian art world and artists reserved their best works for showing there.
The painting can be read on a number of different levels. On a literal level, Millais has painted a group of girls in a meadow, in front of an orchard full of apple trees in blossom. The girls are relaxing, seated or lying on the ground around a bowl of cream. One is pouring milk from a jug. Another is eating curds from a bowl. Bunches of flowers picked by the girls are placed in baskets on the ground. The painting is an example of Victorian realism, a modern scene, showing young girls in contemporary Victorian dress, enjoying a day in the country.
Free gallery talks Wednesday 3 and Thursday 25 May, 1pm.