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Bust of G.F. Watts, OM: M.13-2015

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Bust of G.F. Watts, OM


Sculptor: Gilbert, Alfred




Bronze bust of G.F. Watts, OM (1817-1904), painter and sculptor. Bronze reduction, on a wooden base.

Legal notes

Sir Ivor and Lady Batchelor Bequest through The Art Fund

Measurements and weight

Depth: 7.8 cm
Height: 20.5 cm
Width: 12.5 cm

Relative size of this object

12.5 cm20.5 cm7.8 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (2015-04-27) by Batchelor, Ivor, Sir and Lady


19th-20th century
Production date: after AD 1889 : Model: 1888; present bronze cast after 1889


G.M. Watts was a famous Victorian painter and sculptor. His wife commissioned a bust of him from Gilbert in 1888. Begun in Watts' studio in August 1888, it took Gilbert 18 sittings to complete the model. The original bronze was cast in winter 1889 and later, in 1904, Mrs Watts presented it to the Tate, London (N01949). The original plaster model is now in the Royal Academy of Arts (no. 2153). Gilbert refused payment for the bust, and later Watts painted a portrait of Gilbert (whereabouts unknown) as a gift in return in 1895. Gilbert made a reduced-scale model of his bust of Watts and had it cast as an edition bronze. The present bust is one of these reductions.

Sir Alfred Gilbert RA MVO (1854-1934) was an English sculptor. He studied in London, Paris and Rome, returning to England in 1884. Gilbert was the leading artist in the New Sculpture movement, which revitalised sculpture in late nineteenth-century Britain. He was also a vital force in reintroducing the lost-wax technique for casting works of art in bronze in England (sand-casting had been the norm for bronze sculpture since the 18th century, with lost-wax casting used only for small-scale work and jewellery). His commissions included the jubilee memorial to Queen Victoria in Winchester and the statue of Eros, in aluminium, for the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain in Piccadilly Circus, and in 1900 he was appointed Professor of Sculpture at the Royal Academy. A period of bankruptcy and divorce followed, and Gilbert moved to Bruges. On his return to England in 1926, his fortunes improved, the highlight being the bronze Queen Alexandra Memorial, at Marlborough House, London, 1926-32. He was knighted by George V in 1932. Gilbert died in poverty in 1934.

School or Style



  • Sculpture UK

Components of the work

Base composed of wood
Plinth Depth 7.5 cm Height 9 cm Width 7.5 cm
Sculpture Depth 7.7 cm Height 10.3 cm Width 12.8 cm

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Casting (process) : Bronze, cast and chased

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.13-2015
Primary reference Number: 201848
Old object number: 19
Former loan number: AAL.247-2006
External ID: CAM_CCF_M_13_2015
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Thursday 18 June 2015 Updated: Monday 16 March 2020 Last processed: Monday 15 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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