Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

George Frederic Watts (1817-1904), Painter and sculptor

Painter and sculptor; born 23 February 1817, London; trained with William Behnes and at Royal Academy Schools 1835–7; prizewinner in the Westminster Palace Competitions 1842 and 1847; visited Italy 1843–7; painted a series of frescoes during the 1850s, including Justice at Lincoln’s Inn; settled at Little Holland House 1850–75; artist of large allegorical works and of the Hall of Fame portraits, conceived as a national record and presented to the National Portrait Gallery; considered the greatest British painter of his age; elected ARA January 1867, RA December 1867; declined baronetcy 1885 and 1894; OM 1902; married Ellen Terry 1864 (separated 1865), and secondly Mary Fraser-Tytler 1886; died 1 July 1904, in London.

Dr Jan Marsh

Referencesback to top

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Barrington, E., G.F. Watts: Reminiscences, London, 1905.

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Beraldi, H., Les Graveurs du dix-huitième siècle, Paris, 1890.

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Bills, M., and B. Bryant, G.F. Watts: Victorian Visionary: Highlights from the Watts Gallery Collection, exh. cat., Guildhall Art Gallery, London and Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate: New Haven and London, 2008.

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Blunt, W., England’s Michelangelo: A Biography of George Frederick Watts, O.M., R.A., London, 1975.

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Bryant, B., G.F. Watts Portraits: Fame and Beauty in Victorian Society, exh.cat., NPG, London, 2004.

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Gould, V.F., G.F. Watts: The Last Great Victorian, London, 2004.

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Schleinitz, O. von., George Frederick Watts, Bielefeld and Leipzig, 1904.

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Taylor, G., ed., Byam Shaw: A Selection of Paintings and Book Illustrations, exh. cat., Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 1986.

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G.F. Watts: The Hall of Fame: Portraits of His Famous Contemporaries, exh. cat., NPG, London, 19765.

Watts 1912
Watts, M.S., George Frederic Watts: The Annals of an Artist’s Life, 3 vols, London, 1912.

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Dr Jan Marsh