Mon­u­men­tal Mu­rals cel­e­brate 200th an­niver­sary of Watts

Timeless Travels Magazine - - ART ROUNDUP -

Watts Gallery Artists Vil­lage, Guild­ford Show­ing un­til: 5 Novem­ber 2017

This year marks the 200th an­niver­sary of Ge­orge Fred­eric Watts OM RA (1817 – 1904), the cel­e­brated Vic­to­rian artist, and there are a num­ber of events at the Watts Gallery to cel­e­brate.

Mon­u­men­tal Mu­rals is the first ex­hi­bi­tion and it ex­plores his colos­sal and vi­sion­ary mu­ral projects. This show brings to­gether, for the first time, two rare frag­ments painted by the artist in the 1850s for grand pri­vate homes along with stud­ies and draw­ings that il­lu­mi­nate other cul­tur­ally sig­nif­i­cant mu­ral projects un­der­taken dur­ing the key early pe­riod of his ca­reer.

Ad­di­tional paint­ings, sketches and ob­jects il­lus­trate Watts’s other, pub­lic-spir­ited mu­ral projects, in­clud­ing those at the Houses of Par­lia­ment and at Lin­coln’s Inn, where his gi­gan­tic Jus­tice: A Hemi­cy­cle of Law­givers pre­sides over the Great Hall. The ex­hi­bi­tion also con­tex­tu­alises Watts as a trail-blaz­ing mu­ral­ist, whose huge am­bi­tion and in­ge­nu­ity helped es­tab­lish a na­tive school of mu­ral paint­ing, and whose tena­cious spirit re­fused to yield to the in­escapable con­ser­va­tional chal­lenges of paint­ing on plas­ter in the cold, damp Bri­tish cli­mate.

Ge­orge Fred­eric Watts (1817-1904), Study for ‘Al­fred In­cit­ing the Sax­ons to Pre­vent the Land­ing of the Danes’, c. 1846. Wa­ter­colour.

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