During his school years at the French Gymnasium Berlin, where he towered over his classmates by his extraordinary talent, he wrote at the request of Gustav Friedrich Scales (1794-1868) the first printed catalog of the Picture Gallery in the Old Museum. After graduation Woltmann studied in Berlin and Munich, received his doctorate in 1863 at the University of Breslau and then lived back in Berlin. 1867-1868 he worked as a lecturer at the University of Berlin, then went as professor of art history at the Technical University of Karlsruhe, 1874 at the University of Prague and 1878 in Strasbourg. After several trips, which he vainly sought relief from his lung condition, he died in Menton / Côte d' Azur.
Known at a young age was Woltmann through his work Holbein and his time and architectural history of Berlin. Together with the head of the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, Gustav Friedrich scales, Alfred Woltmann published the Kleine Schriften.
- Woltmann, Alfred., 1866. Holbein and his time. Leipzig: E. A. Seemann
- Woltmann, Alfred. In 1872. The architectural history of Berlin up to the present
- Scales, Gustav Friedrich, and Alfred Woltmann. In 1875. Kleine Schriften. With a biographical sketch and a portrait of the author. Stuttgart: Ebner & Seubert