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Spring scenes in our collections

NARCISSUS 'THE INCOMPARABLE DAFFODIL' by Georg Ehret, 1753. Botanical illustration situated in Gallery IV (the Botanical Gallery) at Dudmaston, Shropshire.
‘Narcissus, The Incomparable Daffodil’ by Georg Dionysius Ehret, 1753, at Dudmaston, Shropshire | © National Trust Images/John Hammond

Spring's promise of new beginnings has been an inspiration to artists and designers for centuries. You can see its influence across the arts, from Renaissance craftsmen to botanical artists and designers of the Arts and Crafts movement. See spring through some of its most evocative depictions in the collections and objects we care for.

Spring blossom

A dark brown lacquered Japanese cabinet, circa1675–1700, decorated with small flowers raised on a giltwood stand
A lacquered Japanned Cabinet on a gilt frame, circa 1675–1700 at Osterley Park and House, London | © National Trust Images/John Hammond

Lacquer cabinet at Osterley Park, London

Made in Japan in the late 17th century, this cabinet is elaborately decorated with flower and foliage motifs. The less elaborately decorated interiors of the doors show a pattern of cherry blossoms floating on water. This is a symbol of the evanescence of youth and beauty in Japanese culture, but this meaning may have been lost on its Western buyers.

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Spring flora

Spring, one of four stained glass panels in the inglenook fireplace in the Dining Room at Cragside, designed by William Morris, dated 1873
Spring, one of four stained glass panels in the inglenook fireplace in the Dining Room at Cragside, designed by William Morris, dated 1873 | © National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Stained glass window at Cragside, Northumberland

This stained glass panel depicts a young woman surrounded by spring flowers. It’s one of a series of small panels of the four seasons, designed by William Morris for the inglenook fireplace at Cragside. Morris wanted to capture the spirit of medieval glass while keeping a focus on secular subjects.

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Spring fauna

Detail from the painted animal mural in the Night Nursery at Wightwick Manor and Gardens, West Midlands
Detail from the painted animal mural in the Night Nursery at Wightwick Manor and Gardens, West Midlands | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

A mother hen at Wightwick Manor, West Midlands

This charming painted paper frieze of a hen and her chicks by Cecil Aldin appears on the wall of the nursery at Wightwick Manor. A paper frieze is a decorated or ornamental band that runs around the perimeter of a room.

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Spring insects

Oil painting on canvas, Elizabeth Craven, Lady Powis (1600-1662), English School, early 17th century, at Powis Castle, Wales
Elizabeth Craven, Lady Powis (1600–1662) at Powis Castle, Wales | © National Trust Images/John Hammond

Embroidered dress at Powis Castle, Wales

In this painting, Elizabeth Craven, Lady Powis, wears a richly embroidered dress that mixes motifs taken from the natural world, including butterflies flitting between roses. Elizabethan textiles often included designs based upon images found in illustrated natural history books.

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Sevres Wine Cooler, showing nymphs worshipping the bust of Pan, from a service made for Louis XVI, dated 1792, in the Porcelain Lobby at Upton House, Warwickshire

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