One of the most 'iconic' of all Victorian pictures, Watts's Hope is known in at least five different versions. One was exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1886 and sold at Sotheby's London on 26 November 1986, another sold as lot 13, Christie's, London, 13 June 2001, and a third was presented by Watts to the infant National Gallery of British Art in 1897, and is now in the Tate. The present work copies the Tate version. As Watts was in the habit of producing replicas of his paintings, which varied in one specific detail - the prominence of the star, or the addition of a rainbow, for example - rather than painting exact copies, one may conclude that this is indeed an early twentieth century copy. Watt's studio was so constituted that this work could not have been executed by anyone in his circle.
We are grateful to Richard Jefferies of the Watts Gallery, Compton, for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.