Portrait of Dorothy Remington (née Wooster), c1930

pencil

 

Dorothy and Emily Wooster (Worster), the Cookham butcher’s daughters, were fellow school pupils with Stanley and Gilbert Spencer. The girls lived opposite Fernlea and as children would sit on the wall when Will Spencer played the piano. By the time Stanley was at the Slade, and when he occupied various makeshift ‘studios’ around Cookham, the girls would often watch him painting, and the four of them – Stanley, Gilbert, Dorothy and Emily - took summer evening walks together, frequently down Mill Lane and to Cliveden. On 10 June 1916, Stanley wrote in a letter to Desmond Chute (Stanley Spencer Gallery collection), ‘All my earliest compositions were influenced in a certain way by these girls.’ Dorothy appears in the following works: ‘The Fairy on the Waterlily Leaf’ (no. 42); with her sister Emily in ‘Two Girls and a Beehive’, 1910 (his fourth oil and first subject picture); ‘The Visitation’, 1912-3; as well as in other drawings and an oil, ‘Dot and Guy Leaning against a Wall’, whose whereabouts is unknown. Stanley conceived a youthful romantic feeling for the girls: ‘it was two daughters of the Butcher with whom I was much in love & about whom I had many happy, & to me, wonderful visions. I was on the look-out for them every day & in many little drawings an imagined Dot was planted in the places round Cookham. My innocent love fusions for Dot were, no matter how sentimental & young they may have been, …pretty profound emotions.’ [TGA 733.3.20]. Dorothy married Eddie Remington (drawn by Stanley Spencer in 1931; see ‘The Garage Proprietor’) in 1914  

Lent by a private collector