Charles Daniel Ward (British, 1872–1935)
The Progress of Spring, 1905
Oil on canvas, 36 x 72 in.
Signed and dated lower right: Chas. D. Ward 1905
A painter of portraits, landscapes, and figural compositions, Ward exhibited his paintings regularly at the Royal Academy, where he showed The Progress of Spring in 1905. In this large, allegorical canvas, he suggests the season of abundant growth and renewed life with a procession of young maidens gathering flowers along a blossom-carpeted forest path. The progress of life is implied by the budding courtship between the coy maiden and her persistent suitor in the center. This symbolism is reinforced by the ewe and her three lambs grazing to the left just behind them. Ward’s vision for this version was possibly the Roman writer Virgil’s series of pastoral poems collectively called The Georgics: “When winter’s rage abates, when cheerful hours Awake the spring, the spring awakes the flow’rs, On the green turf thy careless limbs display, And celebrate the mighty Mother’s Day. . . .”