April Love

painting by the famous English artist Arthur Hughes

April Love is one of artist Arthur Hughes‘ (1832-1915) earliest and most famous works. This oil on canvas painting depicts a lovely young women in a blue dress and blue scarf looking as if she is hiding from someone. John Ruskin (1819-1900) after seeing the painting unfinished suggested Hughes name the piece “Hide and Seek”. Hughes wrote to friend William Allingham that the fictitious girl in the painting was “rejoicing in the more graceful title of “April Love.”

Ruskin was an English art critic and social thinker. He, like Hughes supported the pre-Raphaelite movement. He wrote of the finished April Love, “Exquisite in every way; lovely in colour, most subtle in the quivering expression of the lips, and the sweetness of the tender face, shaken like a lead by winds upon its dew, and hesitating back into place.”