Monumental Murals celebrate 200th anniversary of Watts
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.