Art History Festival | A Victorian Michelangelo: The Global Legacy of G. F. Watts’s Symbolism
G F Watts, Love Triumphant, 1893-98, oil on canvas, Watts Gallery Trust
In his heyday, George Frederic Watts (1817-1904) was internationally respected as ‘England’s Michelangelo’. This accolade inflected the mastery of High Renaissance art with British Victorian tastes and interests. This presentation asks how values of global significance were seen to be embodied in Watts’s symbolist pictures since 1880 by exploring themes of allegory, technique and celebrity. It reveals how Michelangelo inspired G. F. Watts and furthered the international reception of his symbolist practice.
Gursimran Oberoi is a Collaborative Doctoral Award Researcher, University of Surrey and Watts Gallery.