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#WattsWednesday: New Additions

Posted 24th January 2018
Watts Contemporary Gallery

New Additions to Watts Gallery

The Graham Robertson Gallery has new a look. Drawing on G F Watts's renowned series of portraits showing the noted contemporaries of his day - known colloquially as his 'Hall of Fame' - Watts Gallery is displaying three new paintings on loan from the National Portrait Gallery. Read more on each portrait below.

G F Watts, Sir Charles Hallé (né Carl Halle), c. 1870, oil on canvas

A portrait of the leading pianist and conductor, depicted alert at a piano as if performing one of his famous recitals. Born in Westphalia, Hallé settled in Manchester in 1848. Having founded the Hallé Orchestra in 1858, the sitter went on to found the Royal Manchester College of Music.

G F Watts, Walter Crane, 1891, oil on canvas

A fluent and painterly portrait of the Arts & Crafts designer, painter and illustrator. Dressed in a casual velvet jacket with a well-groomed beard, Crane strikes a pose as a fashionable Bohemian. The raised chin and thoughtful, upward-turned eyes give the sitter a venerable air. Like Watts, Crane campaigned for social justice and reform. Alongside William Morris, he was an associate of the Socialist League.

G F Watts, Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke, 2nd Bt, 1873, oil on canvas

A brilliant radical statesman, Dilke was already being talked of as a future prime minister when this portrait was painted. Watts presents the decisive and ambitious liberal MP, aged 29, with a direct and arresting gaze.

Dilke's political career was later thwarted by his involvement in a divorce scandal in 1885-6. Despite being ostracised by society he continued to serve in Parliament. Editor of the influential journal, the Athenaeum, Dilke was keenly interested in the progress of the arts.