Origin: English Period: George V Provenance: Unknown Date: c.1919 In Frame: 18.5” high x 16.5” wide The Work: 16” high x 14” wide
Deftly executed by A.L. Woodman and dated to 1919, in oils on canvas, the head and shoulders portrait of an elderly gentleman in deep thought and shown in profile, having a thick beard and wearing a black overcoat, on a dark ground. the work presented in its original black painted frame, the whole surviving from the first quarter of twentieth century England.
The picture is in slightly tired but decorative condition. The canvas has some wear and is dirty, though doesn’t have any losses to speak of. Please refer to the photographs for a full visual reference. The inscription to the reverse reads ‘A.L. Woodman Nov. 1919’’.
We know this artist was female and painted a tranche of nudes and portraits and exhibited in central England but further research would prove fruitful.
The year of 1919, just after the first world war had ended in England, saw riots, mutinies and strikes and some believed that the country was on the brink of revolution. The war had taken a huge toll on Britain and its vast global empire and it would be a long time before things returned to normal. That summer saw the first Wimbledon tennis championships for five years. In September a railway strike led to an emergency cabinet meeting with all army leave cancelled. That same month weekly rations of sugar, butter and meat were reduced. At 11am, on November 11, the first two-minute silence for the Glorious Dead was held and this portrait was painted the same month. Times were hard, but the country had got through.
A sensitive and intensely personal portrait in untouched condition.