George Frederic Watts (1817 - 1904):
A949; oil on canvas; 48 x 44 cm.
Prov: Mrs Michael Chapman, the artist's adopted daughter.
Bequeathed by Miss Katherine Elizabeth Lewis, 1961; WA1961.30.
One of three portraits of the Scots historian and essayist, Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), for which sittings are recorded in 1867-8. Watts found Carlyle a difficult subject because he could not conceal his boredom. For his part, Carlyle complained that Watts had made him look 'like a mad labourer'.
Information derived from the Ashmolean Museum's Complete Illustrated Catalogue of Paintings.