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Mammon, the god of money, is represented as a tyrant on a throne. He nurses money bags in his lap and two youths are crushed by his monstrous power. This is one of a series of paintings in which George Frederick Watts criticised modern commerce and its de-humanising effect on the nation.Watts subtitled the picture Dedicated to his Worshippers, as if inscribing a monument. He apparently had plans to commission a sculpture of Mammon for Hyde Park where he hoped the god’s followers ‘would be at least honest enough to bow the knee publicly to him’.

July 2007