An American expatriate, Charles Caryl Coleman was born in Buffalo, New York and pursued his academic training in Paris before the outbreak of the Civil War. He returned to the United States in 1862 to serve in the war, and then traveled back to Europe in 1866, where he lived out the remainder of his life in Capri. During his career, he focused primarily on portraiture, landscapes and genre scenes in the Italian countryside. However, he created a series of decorative panels that are his most highly achieved and dramatic work. The very beautiful panel Primavera is most probably half of a pair of panels commissioned by one of Coleman's clients in London for the boudoir of her home. The work features the initials 'ACD', most probably those of the patron, on the intricately designed frame. The second half, titled Still Life with Peach Blossoms, was featured in the exhibition In Pursuit of Beauty at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and is now on loan at the Detroit Institute of Arts. An article in the [New York] World, dated April 12, 1878, describes Primavera as "horizontal in form, represent[ing] a bit of moonlight sky with a crescent moon, some branches of an almond tree in blossom, and a wise little owl perched upon one of the tree stems. It was an enchanting poetical conceit on canvas." The painting displays the esthetic design of Eastern traditions, which Coleman featured often in his decorative panels. Also, the original frame was masterfully designed and crafted by Coleman, juxtaposing its ornate Italian elements with the painting's simplicity of design.