The Recording Angel

The Recording Angel - George Frederick Watts
The Recording Angel – George Frederick Watts

Not the most obvious name to spring to mind when mentioning great British artists, yet G F Watts is the man behind many beautifully engaging and recognisable works, and though less than a household name today he has apparently been called ‘England’s Michelangelo’.

Choosing (Dame Ellen Terry) - George Frederic Watts
Choosing (Dame Ellen Terry) – George Frederic Watts

If the name of George Frederick Watts isn’t instantly recognisable I think this image provides a real ah-ha moment.

His richly symbolic paintings often reveal a visionary’s perspective and really deserve a closer look, though it’s perhaps his portraits that might draw the greatest admiration.

Edith Villers, Countess of Lytton
Edith Villers, Countess of Lytton

Dear Kitty has devoted to an excellent post to the man and I was particularly interested to read this part:

“His socialist principles were the guiding force behind the creation of the gallery (the Watts Gallery in Surrey). Watts not only wanted to encourage a rich community spirit to develop through the language of art but also to create an educational centre which would provide free access to the art world for the benefit of the working class for the first time.”

Hmm, a man after my own heart then. Click the link below to read her excellent article in full, but before you go have a look at this short clip looking at the Watts Chapel (designed and built by his wife Mary Watts) and tell me it doesn’t knock your socks off – I challenge you.

Both the gallery and the chapel can be found in Compton, Surrey, just off the A3 south of Guildford.


Published by Jill London

Hi, I’m Jill, a writer and teacher living in the UK, usually behind a desk but sometimes on a sofa with a book or a film. I began writing at around age three, legibly by five, although I didn’t write any stories until I was older. Aged eleven, I began writing children’s fiction, mostly middle-grade fantasy and I’m still doing it to this day. I have had stories published online and in My Weekly magazine. The best bit about writing is when ideas pop into your head (from the writing fairy presumably?) and everything starts clipping together like a jigsaw puzzle. The worst bit? When you start to get the feeling there's a piece missing from the box...

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