Wood Nymph

by Arthur Spooner


Out Of Stock

DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 42.0 x 20.25 in/ 107.0 x 51.5 cm
SIGNATURE: Signed ‘Arthur Spooner’ lower right
MEDIUM: Oil on canvas

Out Of Stock

Catalogue No: 4976 Categories: ,

In this beautiful painting, Arthur Spooner presents a lovely young woman as a nymph in a woodland. The viewer’s gaze is attracted to the sitter’s sensuous nubile body, with Spooner’s smooth brushstrokes recreating the softness and silkiness of her skin. Additionally, the placement of her hands emphasises her nudity, leading the eye downwards over her womanly curves.

The woodland setting accompanied with the sitter’s state of undress emphasises that the subject is a wood nymph, a spirit of the forest. These mythological spirits of nature were imagined as beautiful maidens inhabiting rivers, woods, or other locations, whose basis were in Greek mythology and were a popular subject in Victorian literature and art, notably with the Pre-Raphaelites. The sitter’s other-worldliness only accentuates her sensuality and her place as an object of desire.


Hilton Art Gallery, London;
Anonymous sale: Sothebys Belgravia, 2 October 1979, Lot 227;
J. S Maas Gallery, London;
Private Collection, United Kingdom

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Arthur Spooner (1873–1962) was a British Impressionist painter from Nottingham, England. Born in 1873, Spooner studied in the traditional Victorian manner at Nottingham School of Art but went on to paint in the British Impressionist style, passionate about the effect of light on the landscape. One of his most important paintings, “The Goose Fair, Nottingham”, painted in 1926 illustrates his considerable talent in painting the lively bustling crowds at dusk. Spooner painted this work from his rooftop studio which overlooked the square. Currently hanging in Nottingham Castle Gallery, it was purchased at auction for the staggering price of £218,000.00.


Spooner taught landscape and figure painting at the Nottingham School of Art in the early 1900s and was a founding member of the Nottingham Society of Artists becoming Vice President in 1924 and 1938. He exhibited locally and nationally at the Royal Academy and Royal Society of British Artists. Spooner is particularly remembered for his poster ‘Home Ales – the connoisseur’s choice’, showing an old man with a foaming pint of ale which appeared on billboards around Nottingham in the 1940s and 50s. In 2011, the Historian Dan Snow made a program about the artist for the BBC.


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