GEORGE FREDERICK WATTS, O.M., R.A. (1817-1904)
GEORGE FREDERICK WATTS, O.M., R.A. (1817-1904)
GEORGE FREDERICK WATTS, O.M., R.A. (1817-1904)
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GEORGE FREDERICK WATTS, O.M., R.A. (1817-1904)
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The property of a private collector
GEORGE FREDERICK WATTS, O.M., R.A. (1817-1904)

Clytie

Details
GEORGE FREDERICK WATTS, O.M., R.A. (1817-1904)
Clytie
inscribed 'TRUSTEES OF THE WATTS GALLERY/4/9 2013 PE
bronze, dark-brown patina
33 7/8 in. (86 cm.) high, overall
Conceived circa 1868-1878.
This bronze cast 2013, edition 4 of 9.
Provenance
with The Watts Gallery, Surrey.
Exhibited
London, Leighton House, 2016-2018 (on loan).

Brought to you by

Sarah Reynolds
Sarah Reynolds

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Lot Essay


Watts’s Clytie was greeted with much acclaim when it was exhibited incomplete at the Royal Academy in 1868, where the critic Edmund Gosse hailed it as pioneering the New Sculpture movement. It was his first free-standing sculpture and the only work in this medium he exhibited during his lifetime. The Watts Gallery in Surrey has three versions, in bronze, plaster and terracotta, respectively. A marble version was purchased from Watts by Lord Battersea and was donated to the Guildhall Art Gallery in the City of London by Lady Battersea in 1919. A period plaster version was sold in these Rooms on 11 December 2011, lot 4, for £68,500. The present sculpture is number four in an edition of nine cast under license from the Watts Gallery in 2013.
Clytie was an ocean nymph from Ovid's Metamorphoses who fell in love with the sun-god Apollo. He abandoned her and in grief she fasted for nine days watching her beloved drive his chariot across the sky. She became rooted to the spot and was transformed into a sunflower which turned its head to follow the sun moving across the sky from East to West. Watts’s contrapposto modelling captures Clytie metamorphosing into the flower with her head craning to catch a glimpse of Apollo.

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