The Waterfall

The Waterfall, 1840
Alfred Woolmer (1805-1892)
Oil on canvas
BORGM 02417
Image © Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum


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The Waterfall

Alfred Woolmer, also known as Alfred Joseph Woolmer, was a painter and sculptor of figurative scenes. He was inspired by the work of the French artist Antoine Watteau (1648 – 1721) who was revolutionary in his use of colour and light. (This inspiration is acknowledged by Woolmer in his painting “Watteau in his Studio” now in Glasgow Museums). These influences can be seen in Woolmer’s distinctive style: soft and detailed brushwork with a riot of colours and gentle lighting.

In this painting two figures are beside the waterfall of the title. The young man clambers over the rocks to see the view more clearly, the young girl rather more circumspectly sits at a slight distance from the edge. The perspective of the painting leads the viewer down into the water.

In his autobiography Home and Away Sir Merton Russell-Cotes writes “Woolmer was always a very favourite artist of mine”, an appreciation confirmed by his purchase of fourteen of his paintings.


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