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Collection

An image of Alice by George Frederic Watts

George Frederic Watts

(England 23 Feb 1817 – 01 Jul 1904)

Title
Alice
Year
1883
Media category
Painting
Materials used
oil on canvas
Dimensions

67.0 x 53.4 cm stretcher; 98.2 x 85.8 x 6.0 cm frame

Signature & date
Signed l.l., red oil "G.F. Watts". Not dated.
Credit
Gift of the Executors of the Estate of the late G.F. Watts 1907
Accession number
984
Location
19th c European art
Further information

From 1843 to 1847 George Watts lived in Italy, studying firsthand the monu-mental masterpieces of the Renaissance, most notably Michelangelo, Tintoretto and the Venetian colourists. He sought to achieve in his work a marriage of sculptural solidity and painterly warmth. Both a painter and sculptor, he regarded artistic ambidexterity as a duty. Many of the allegorical paintings Watts produced are bombastic in scale and abstruse in meaning. Nonetheless, his Victorian public welcomed these often clumsy conceptions as faultless expressions of genius, going so far as to accord him the title of the English Michelangelo. Watts portrayed most of the men and women of culture of his day, amassing a virtual anthology of English society. The ravishing 'Alice' shows him at his understated best. The sitter has been captured in a state of reverie undisturbed by interruptions from the outside world, and spared the histrionic excesses more characteristic of this painter's style.

AGNSW Handbook, 1999.

Provenance (1)

George Frederic Watts, England, Gift of the Executors of the Estate of the late G.F. Watts 1907

Bibliography (5)

Renée Free, Art Gallery of New South Wales catalogue of British paintings, Sydney, 1987, 206 (illus.).

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Western Collection: Paintings and Sculpture', pg. 17-77, Sydney, 1999, 42 (colour illus.).

Anne Kirker and Peter Tomory, British painting 1800-1990 in Australian and New Zealand public collections, Sydney, 1997, 176. cat.no. 2264

Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle- Upon-Tyne, Catalogue of the special loan collection of works by the late G. F. Watts, R.A., O.M., 1905.

Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts, Watts memorial exhibition at the Royal Hibernian Academy, 1906.

Exhibition history (7)

Unknown, Grosvenor Gallery, England 1884, Grosvenor Gallery, London, England, 1884–1884

Unknown, Munich 1893, Exhibition Venue Unknown, 1893–1893

Unknown, Leeds 1893, Exhibition Venue Unknown, 1893–1893

Unknown, Cardiff 1894, Exhibition Venue Unknown, 1894–1894

Special loan collection of the works by the late G.F. Watts, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle- Upon-Tyne, England, Aug 1905–Aug 1905

Unknown, Manchester 1905, Manchester City Art Gallery, Manchester, 1905–1905

Watts memorial exhibition at the Royal Hibernian Academy, Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts, Dublin, 1906–1906