Von Stuck frequently depicted a mythological world populated with nymphs and centaurs, baccantes and fauns. It is a playful world with distinctly comic and erotic undertones. The present work depicts a beautiful nymph, reclining naked in a verdant landscape, listening to a garlanded youth playing a pipe. They are at once at ease with each other and with the countryside around them. It is a scene of harmony and sensual abandonment.
Von Stuck's earliest mythological scenes owed a great deal to the work of Arnold Böcklin (1827-1901) whose dark, brooding landscapes were so important for later Symbolist painters. Fighting fauns (1889, Munich, Neue Pinakothek) is reminiscent of Böcklin's Centaurs fighting (1872-3, Basel Kunstmuseum), but even here Stuck injects a certain irony and an innocent delight into the work that is absent from Böcklin's powerful scene.
In later works von Stuck would single out the comic potential of such mythical subjects, for example Dissonance (1910, Munich Museum Villa Stuck), where a young faun tries his best to play the syrinx, panpipes, but only succeeds in tormenting his teacher, who clasps his hands to his ears.
Liebesfrühling, still in its original frame designed by the artist, was first owned by Max von Bleichert. It was later offered at auction where it was purchased by von Stuck's daughter Mary, who was keen to buy back many of her father's works and hang them at the Villa Stuck where she lived with her family.