The phrase ‘maiden meditation’, taken from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, was often used to describe girlish innocence. During Act II, scene 1 of the play, Oberon describes how Cupid’s arrow failed to strike a ‘fair vestal’, who ‘passed on, / in maiden meditation, fancy-free’. Although the arrow misses its target, it eventually pierces a ‘little western flower, / Before milk-white, now purple with love’s wound’. Here, a woman with youthful tousles clutches a white flower - the chair’s seductive shade of rich, ripe red highlights her purity. Douglas’ manner of painting was similar to Landseer’s, using warm colours mixed liquid and laid on with a broad brush.