Sir Alfred Gilbert
George Frederic Watts, O.M., R.A. 1888–9

Artwork details

Sir Alfred Gilbert 1854–1934
George Frederic Watts, O.M., R.A.
Date 1888–9
Medium Bronze
Dimensions Object: 584 x 584 x 368 mm, 26kg
Acquisition Presented by Mrs Watts by the wish of the late George Frederic Watts 1904
Not on display

Display caption

This bust of the famous Victorian painter and sculptor, was commissioned by his wife, and took more than Gilbert's usual number of sittings. Mrs Watts wrote that 'Sir Frederic Leighton gave it high praise ... I remember his passing his hands over the planes of the cheek-bone and then to the planes of the coat, saying 'It could not be better', and Signor [Watts] agreed with him, remarking how far finer a coat became in sculpture when treated in such a manner than any artificial drapery; and they congratulated each other on the disappearance of the bathing-towel from the shoulders of a modern bust.'
Gilbert refused any payment for the bust, and in return Watts painted his portrait.

February 2010

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