Martin Beisly Fine Art

6 Ryder Street, St James’s, London, SW1Y 6QB

© 2019 Martin Beisly Fine Art

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George Frederic Watts O.M., R.A.

1817-1904

Head study for Justice, A Hemicycle of Lawgivers

1/1

Black chalk on buff paper

 

Numbered ‘8.’, lower right

19 ⅛ x 12 ¾ in.

(48.6 x 32.4 cm.)

c.1859

 

Watts was commissioned to paint a fresco for the Great Hall of Lincoln's Inn in the mid 1850s, following his conception of a mural of Edmund Spenser's The Triumph of the Red Cross Knight for the new Palace of Westminster in 1852.

The Lincoln's Inn project was vast, some 45 feet wide and 40 feet high, filling the north wall. Watts has gathered the great lawmakers and decision makers from throughout history in a composition which depicts twenty-four named figures, including Solon, Draco, Moses, and Confucius, and ten others, including monks, scribes, and a druid.  Many of the figures are based on studies of Watts's friends.