The Dream or Sleeping Nymph

Circa 1896-1900
Oil on canvas
H. 22,2 cm x W.35,6 cm

As Henner like to go back to the same subjects, sometimes years later, it is often difficult to identify a painting like this one, which the painter had not given a title to. It can nevertheless be compared to the Sleeping Nymph, exhibited at the Cercle Volney in 1896, or The Dream, shown at the Salon in 1900. This painting displays the characteristic elements that earned Henner his success, but also attracted criticism because of their repetitiveness: a nude red-haired woman with a very pale skin in a landscape that was typical of Sundgau in southern Alsace, almost invariably featuring bushes, a small pond, a hill and the sky at sunset. Although his inspiration came from the pastoral poetry of classical literature, Henner’s idyllic landscapes are in fact those of his native region.