George Frederic Watts
- Extended Catalogue Entry
George Frederic Watts
by James Soame
albumen print, circa 1854-1858
8 1/4 in. x 5 1/2 in. (209 mm x 139 mm)
Sitterback to top
- George Frederic Watts (1817-1904), Painter and sculptor; Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery. Sitter in 43 portraits, Artist associated with 92 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Little is known about Soame and the circumstances of this photograph but it almost certainly relates to Watts's work on his ambitious fresco project at Lincoln's Inn on which he worked from 1852 to 1859. It was probably taken for use as an aid in painting the multi figure composition of Justice in which there are a number of robed figures. It is also related to Watts's self-portrait as a 'Venetian Senator', itself a spin off from the Lincoln's Inn project.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 646
Events of 1854back to top
Current affairsThe Working Men's College in London is founded by Frederick Maurice, who along with Charles Kingsley, a leading proponent of Christian Socialism, mocked by its opponents as 'muscular Christianity'. Christian Socialism attempted to combine the fundamental aims of socialism with the ethics of Christianity.
William Howard Russell is sent to cover the Crimean war by his paper, The Times; his dispatches mark the start of modern war correspondence.
Art and scienceThe artist William Powell Frith paints his famous Ramsgate Sands, Life at the Seaside, an astute observation of modern leisure time.
Dr John Snow, the founder of epidemiology, discovers that cholera is spread by water, rather than air, following the deaths of 500 people in ten days who had drank from a water pump in Broad Street. The Public Health Act is passed in response, setting up the General Board of Health.
InternationalBritain enters the Crimean war on 31 March, after an alliance is formed between Turkey, France, Sardinia and Britain against Russia. Florence Nightingale achieves great fame in introducing modern nursing techniques to the battlefield, earning her the title 'Lady with the Lamp'.
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