The Spring Witch
Date: c. 1880
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 42 x 31 1/2 in. (106.7 x 80 cm) frame: 54 1/2 x 43 1/4 in. (138.4 x 109.9 cm)
Credit Line: F. V. du Pont Acquisition Fund and Gift of Mark and Jill Willcox, 1992
Object Number: 1992-2
About: Very little is known about the painter George Wilson. He was associated with a group of artists and writers who called themselves “The Brotherhood,” united in their admiration of artist-poets Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Blake. The subject of Spring Witch is loosely based on the myth of Persephone, who, captured by Hades, god of the underworld, was granted freedom by Zeus on the condition that she had not partaken of any food while imprisoned beneath the earth, a promise which she did not keep. She is shown here on the day of her release, emerging into the early Spring. Wilson takes full advantage of the season, filling the foreground with new-flowering plant matter, depicted with Ruskinian attention to detail.
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