George Frederick Watts (1817 - 1904)

George Frederic Watts, OM (1817 - 1904) was a popular English Victorian painter of grandiose allegorical themes and sculptor associated with the Symbolist movement. He was one of the most singular and enigmatic figures in Victorian art, and perhaps the hardest to pigeon-hole or classify in any way. Watts believed that art should preach a universal message, but his subject matter, conceived in terms of vague abstract ideals, is full of symbolism that is often obscure and today seems superficial.

Watts was born 23 February 1817, in Marylebone, London in an ordinary family. He was son of a poor piano-maker. He showed promise very early, learning sculpture from the age of 10 with William Behnes and enrolling as a student at the Royal Academy at the age of 18.

George Frederick Watts Paintings

Cardinal Manning Choosing Creation Eve Frederic Lord Leighton Hope Matthew Arnold Orpheus and Eurydice Orpheus and Eurydice (Detail) Paolo and Francesca Seascape Sic Transit Gloria Mundi