Early Years

Born in London on 23 February 1817, Watts was the eldest son of a pianoforte maker and tuner. His early talent for drawing was encouraged by his father, and at the age of ten he entered the studio of sculptor William Behnes (1794 -1865) in Dean Street, Soho. This gave him access to the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum, works that would influence him throughout his career.

Watts entered the Royal Academy at eighteen but found the relaxed attitude to teaching uninspiring, attending at first intermittently before ceasing to go at all. Watts first exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1837 where his works included the much-praised A Wounded Heron.

Upcoming Events and Exhibitions

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Conservation Open Studio

27 Jun

Art Talks

28 Jun

Watts Chapel Tour

28 Jun

Art for All

until
30 Jun

The Make Space

30 Jun

Limnerslease Tours

until
30 Jun

Meet Artists from the Prince's Foundation School of Traditional Arts

2 Jul

Permanent Collection Tours

3 Jul

Conservation Open Studio

4 Jul