Sunday, September 19, 2010

G F Watts - Portrait, possibly Wilfred Scawen Blunt

Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 9,625 GBP

66 by 53cm., 26 by 21in.

oil on canvas

This sitter bears a resemblance to the handsome, aristocratic and raffish poet Wilfred Scawen Blunt (1840-1922). The 14-year-old Blunt was tutored in painting by Watts, who rarely took pupils. A portrait of Blunt painted by Watts in 1899 for one of his former mistresses Madeline Wyndham is known from a photograph by Frederic Hollyer. This portrait depicts Blunt with greying hair and beard and if the present lot does indeed depict Blunt it dates from an earlier decade when his looks were their most beguiling to the beautiful women that risked their reputation to be with him. The style is consistent with Watts' portraits of Millais, Morris, Rossetti, Leighton and Burne-Jones painted in the 1870s when Blunt was in his 30s.

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