George Frederick Watts, R.A. (British, 1817-1904) Portrait of Sir William Agnew, Bt
Lot 78*
George Frederic Watts, OM RA (British, 1817-1904) Portrait of Sir William Agnew, Bt (1825-1910)
Sold for £12,000 (US$ 18,742) inc. premium

Lot Details
George Frederic Watts, OM RA (British, 1817-1904)
Portrait of Sir William Agnew, Bt (1825-1910)
signed, dated and inscribed 'G.F. Watts, to the family of my friend William Agnew 1894' (lower left)
coloured chalk
65 x 51cm (25 9/16 x 20 1/16in).

Footnotes

  • Exhibited:
    London, Royal Academy, Winter Exhibition, 1905.

    Two-thirds of the pictures Watts exhibited at the Royal Academy were portraits. "Portraiture was part of his make-up as a person and an artist; indeed, his biography can be tracked in an extraordinary series of self-portraits he painted and drew, spanning his entire working career of seventy years".1 If we can trace the biography of Watts through his self-portraits then we can do the same with his numerous portraits of the famous and influential. The present lot shows Sir William Agnew, politician and art dealer. Son of the art dealer Thomas Agnew (1794-1871, he was a Liberal Member of Parliament for South East Lancashire between 1880 and 1885 and for Stretford between 1885 and 1886. Agnew worked for his father's firm Thos Agnew and Son, the foremost art dealers in London. As one of the most important dealers of the time, Agnew had close contact with Watts at various stages throughout the artist's career.

    The present lot was painted towards the end of both Agnew's and Watts's lives. It shows Agnew in a sombre light. Another portrait of Agnew in the National Portrait Gallery, London, by Harry Furniss shows the sitter in a more dynamic pose, smoking a cigar.

    1. (ex. cat.,) B. Bryant, G F Watts Portraits: Fame & Beauty in Victorian Society (National Portrait Gallery, 2004), p. 11.
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