Monday, September 11, 2023

George Frederic Watts: Some Portraits

George Frederic Watts (1817-1904) was an important 19th century British artist, as is noted here.

Among many other things, that Wikipedia entry mentions: "He was also admired as a portrait painter.  His portraits were of the most important men and women of the day, intended to form a 'House of Fame'.  In his portraits Watts sought to create a tension between disciplined stability and the power of action.  He was also notable for emphasising the signs of strain and wear on his sitter's faces.  Of his British subjects many are now in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery..."

Today's post presents several of those portraits from 1864 through 1871, a period when many of them were painted.

Shown are mostly art- and culture-related personalities, subjects apparently dear to Watts' heart, as he was part of that tribe.  Artistically, they are accurate from a representational standpoint.  They are rather dark, brownish -- an appearance that was fashionable in late-1800s Britain, as a visitor to London's National Portray Gallery will notice.


Giuseppe Garibaldi - 1864
Garibaldi was a political figure thanks to his effort to unity Italy.  But that also made him a figure of popular culture -- there's even a mountain named after him in far-off British Columbia.

Ellen Terry in "Choosing" - 1864
Watts was briefly married to this famous actress.  She ran out on him.

Robert Browning - 1866
The poet.

Algernon Charles Swinburne - 1867
Another poet.

Florence Nightingale - 1868
The famous nurse of the Crimean War.

Daniel Gabriel Rossetti - 1870
Pre-Raphaelite painter.

William Morris - 1870
Arts and Crafts movement personality.

Frederic Leighton - 1871
Famous painter.

Edward Millais - 1871
Pre-Raphaelite painter.

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