Alfred Joseph Woolmer, A Woman Sleeping In A Forest

Alfred Joseph Woolmer, A Woman Sleeping In A Forest

This gentle mid-19th-century genre scene by British artist Alfred Joseph Woolmer (1805-1892) depicts a young lady sleeping in a forest glade. Her basket is abundant with roses and there’s a small dog waiting at her feet.

Given the symbolism, this charming Victorian painting is probably an allegory of love. She’s dreaming of an admirer and immersed in the depths of romance. Note the distant church, to remind us of marriage, and the dog’s paw, which rests on her foot. The submissive nature of the dog suggests that the young man in question is rather smitten.

Woolmer was a prolific exhibitor at the Royal Academy and this is a good example of his work. Here he uses colour intelligently to emphasise the figure against the natural tones of the background.

Signed and housed in a splendid 19th-century gilt frame with foliate.

Learn more about Alfred Joseph Woolmer in our directory.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 26½” x 21½” / 67cm x 55cm
Year of creation: c. 1850
Condition: Artwork presents well. Canvas relined. Frame with some light wear.
Artist’s auction highlight: £12,000 achieved for an oil painting in 2003.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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