With its mood of wistful sadness, this picture is typical of Strudwick's depictions of female beauty that proved so popular amongst
collectors of Pre-Raphaelite art. He made his debut at the Royal Academy in 1876, but only showed one picture. Thereafter he transferred his allegiance to the Grosvenor Gallery when it opened the following year, and then to the New Gallery when it opened 11 years after that. It was there that despite its partially finished state this picture was shown in 1908. An early picture, A Golden Thread, from 1885 was bought by the Chantrey Bequest and is now in the Tate, London.
Strudwick was studio assistant both to Spencer Stanhope and to Burne-Jones and it was through them that, despite never visiting Italy, Italianate influence was absorbed. This picture has a very delicate sense of colour – something Stanhope especially was renowned for. The full verse with which the picture was exhibited reads, 'When sorrow comes in summer days, roses bloom in vain.'