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Work continues to move forward with the collection

Posted 14th August 2009
Watts Contemporary Gallery


Work continues to move forward with the collection and it was wonderful to see some images of the frescos that have been conserved at the conservation studio in Liverpool. It was, before closure, almost hidden from public view, installed as it was high on the walls of the picture gallery. They were in desperate need of conservation and were sent directly to conservation. What was revealed was wonderful moments of painting which had been obscured by years of dirt. Watts had painted the frescos for Lord Landsowne and his house at Bowood. It was painted in 1858 and shows Achilles watching Briseis taken from his tents which was ordered by Agamemnon at Troy, depriving the hero of his lover. Mary Watts recalled that “If in the mood, he [G F Watts] would tell stories from the Greek mythology, or from Homer; and his listeners sometimes enticed him to this by pretending to believe in the invulnerability of Achilles, which always stirred him to indignation ; but in the end he would be led to tell all the story of Troy of Achilles and Briseis…”