The Caged Bird (1907), is an allegory. The caged bird is being released to fly where it wants, whilst the poor girl herself will never be free to follow her heart. As the youngest daughter, her duties lie with her ageing parents. The clarity and gaiety of the colours set in the old garden of Condover Hall in Shropshire are in sharp contrast to the sobering reality of her situation.
The model for the painting was Maud Tindal Atkinson, an artist pupil who exhibited at the Royal Academy 1907, from whom he painted a life size watercolour which hung at the Royal Academy in 1906.
The symbolism of the release of a caged bird in Seventeenth-Century Dutch painting signified the loss of virginity of the owner. As Maud was his favourite pupil, it would appear that this hidden meaning too was not lost on the artist.