Watt's Final Works
From the 1870s Watts dedicated substantial creative effort to working in sculpture. His most famous work, Physical Energy, occupied him up until his death in 1904. The original gesso grosso model remains in the gallery today. Cast in bronze on four occasions, versions can be found in Cape Town, Harare and in London's Kensington Gardens.
Watts also instigated a memorial garden of everyday heroes in the form of a 50 foot-long open gallery situated near St Paul's Cathedral in London called Postman's Park. It consists of a series of poignant tablets dedicated to individuals who lost their lives heroically attempting to save another.
Watts Gallery was opened on 1 April 1904, exactly three months before Watts's death on 1 July 1904.
G F Watts wished for his art to be seen by a wide audience and hoped for it to inspire and uplift. To achieve this, Watts gifted paintings to galleries across Britain, most importantly to three galleries that he felt were reflective of his grand vision.
To Tate, Watts gave his great allegorical works including The Court of Death (c. 1870-1902), which is now on long-term loan to the Artists' Village and can be seen in Watts Studios.
To the National Portrait Gallery, Watts gave his most masterful portraits, particularly those from his Hall of Fame series.
To his own Watts Gallery, Watts gifted the majority of his body of work, spanning his 70-year career. Major works in the Watts Gallery Trust collection include Paolo and Francesca (c. 1872-74), The Sower of the Systems (c. 1902) and the original model for Physical Energy (c1880s-1904).