Spring depicts the Goddess Persephone, having ascended from the Underworld where she is imprisoned for half of the year, casting aside the torch which has lit her path through the dark subterranean tunnels. She also throws off her garments and stands naked and re-born in the sunlight, her golden beauty admired by her hand-maidens who have been gathering flowers at the entrance to the cave.
Flint had always been attracted by the dramatic possibilities suggested by classical mythology, having illustrated The Iliad early in his career. Even in his mature years, he occasionally painted scenes of Goddesses and nymphs, the subjects of which hark back to the classical-subject paintings of the previous generation of artists and countless artists through history. The subject of Spring recalls Lord Leighton's The Return of Persephone (Leeds City Art Gallery) painted four decades earlier.
The picture is unlined and the existing canvas is providing a stable structural support. There are no signs of craquelure and the paint surface appears to be clean. The picture is ready to hang.
UNDER ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT
There are no obvious signs of retouching.
The picture is contained in an attractive moulded plaster and gilt frame - probably the original. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."