This is one of Hughes' earliest works. The subject is taken from James Thomson's 'Seasons' (1730) and depicts the lines:'with timid eye aroundThe banks surveying, stript her beauteous limbs,To taste the lucid coolness of the flood'(quoted in the RA 1849 catalogue)The Pre-Raphaelite influence on the artist is highly apparent, if this early academic work is compared to one of his later paintings such as 'The Long Engagement' (1855). In this picture Hughes uses a more muted palette and there is little of the minute attention to detail which can be found in works from the 1850s.

  • Presented by Mrs E Hughes, 1905.
  • © Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery


Association Artist Organisation
Artist Arthur Hughes -


Type Position(s) Method Date(s) Notes
A Hughes 1849
Signature bottom right Painted 1849


Catalogue No. Venue Date(s)
571 Royal Academy, London 1849 - 1849


Author(s) Date(s) Publisher Pages
'Mr A Hughes: Last of the Pre-Raphaelites'-obituary
23 December 1915 The Times p. 6
The Dictionary of National Biography
Malcolm Bell 1927 Oxford University Press, Oxford p. 275
Pre-Raphaelite Painters
John Gere, Robin Ironside 1948 Phaidon, London p. 41
'Arthur Hughes at Cardiff and Leighton House'
Robin Gibson December 1971 Burlington Magazine p. 758
Forty-fourth Volume of the Walpole Scociety 1972-4
1974 Glasgow University Press, Glasgow p. 81
Paintings from Books: Art and Literature in Britain, 1760-1900
Richard Altick 1985 Ohio State University Press, Columbus p. 393; repr. p. 393
Arthur Hughes: His Life and Works
Leonard Roberts 1997 Antique Collectors' Club, Woodbridge Cat. 3, p. 121; repr. pl. 2


Hughes' estate; thence in 1921 to his son Arthur Foord Hughes; thence in 1934 to his sister Emily Hughes; gifted by her in 1935 to Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery.

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