Failing the "Progress of the Cosmos," we have from the mind and brush of Watts a great number of paintings, which may be grouped according to their character. Such divisions must not be regarded as rigid or official, for often enough a picture may belong to several groups at the same time. For the purpose of our survey, however, we divide them as follows:

1. Monumental or Historical Paintings and Frescoes.
2. Humanitarian or Social Paintings.
3. Portraits, private and public.
4. Biblical Paintings.
5. Mythical Paintings.
6. "Pessimistic" Paintings.
7. The Great Realities.
8. The Love Series.
9. The Death Series.
10. Landscapes.
11. Unclassified Paintings.
12. Paintings of Warriors. 

"Caractacus" was the first of the monumental paintings; by them Watts appears as a citizen and a patriot, whose insular enthusiasm extends backward to the time when the British chief Caractacus fought and was subdued by the Romans. He enters also into the spirit of the resistance offered to the Danes by King Alfred. George and the Dragon are included by him in the historical though mythical events of our race. Undoubtedly the most remarkable of Watts' monumental paintings is the fresco entitled "Justice; a Hemicycle of Lawgivers," painted for the Benchers' Hall in Lincoln's Inn. It is 45 x 40 feet. Here Watts, taking the conventional and theoretical attitude, identifies law-making with justice, and in his fresco we see thirty-three figures, representing Moses, Zoroaster, Pythagoras, Confucius, Lycurgus and his fellow-Greeks, Numa Pompilius and other Romans. Here figures also Justinian, the maker of the great Code; Mahomet, King Alfred, and even Attila the Hun. The painting represents the close of this phase of Watts' work; he received a gift of £500 and a gold cup in memory of its achievement. In England, at least, no one has ever attempted or accomplished anything in fresco of so great dimensions. Watts' monumental genius drove him to sculpture on the grand scale also. "Hugh Lupus" for the Duke of Westminster, and "Physical Energy," upon which he laboured at intervals during twenty-five years of his life, are his great triumphs in this direction. It is not the first time that an artist deficient in health and strength has made physical energy into a demigod. Men often, perhaps always, idealise what they have not. It was the wish of the sculptor to place a cast of "Physical Energy" on the grave of Cecil Rhodes on the Matoppo Hills in South Africa, indicating how Watts found it possible (by idealising what he wished to idealise), to include within the scope and patronage of his art, the activities, aims, and interests of modern Colonial Enterprise.

Humanitarian Paintings.—The earliest of these, "The Wounded Heron," asks our pity for the injured bird, and forbids us to join in the enthusiasm of the huntsman who hurries for his suffering prize. The same thought is expressed in the beautiful "Shuddering Angel," who is covering his face with his hands at the sight of the mangled plumage scattered on the altar of fashion. In the large canvases, "A Patient Life of Unrequited Toil," and "Midday Rest," we have paintings of horses, both of them designed to teach us consideration for the "friend of man." "The Sempstress" sings us Tom Hood's "Song of the Shirt."

"The Good Samaritan" (see Plate VII.) properly belongs to this series. It was presented by the artist to the citizens of Manchester, as an expression of his admiration of Thomas Wright, the prison philanthropist, whose work was at that time (1852) creating a sensation in the north of England. If we compare this painting with other Biblical subjects executed at a later date, we see how much Watts' work has gained since then. The almost smooth texture and the dark shadows of the Manchester picture have given way to ruggedness and transparency. Still, "The Good Samaritan" is simple and excellent in purpose and composition.

A little known painting entitled "Cruel Vengeance," seems to be a forecast of "Mammon"; a creature with human form and vulture's head presses under his hand a figure like the maiden whose head rests on Mammon's knee. In "Greed and Labour" the seer's eye pierces through the relations between the worker and his master; Labour is a fine strong figure loaded with the implements of his toil, with no feeling of subjection in his manly face; on the other hand, the miser creeping behind him, clutching the money bags, represents that Greed who, as Mammon, is seen sitting on his throne of death. "Mammon" is, however, the greatest of the three, containing in itself the ideas and forms of the other two. It is a terrible picture of the god to whom many bow the knee—"dedicated to his worshippers." His leaden face shows a consciousness of power, but not happiness arising from power; his dull eyes see nothing, though his mind's eye sees one thing clearly—the money bags on his lap. The two frail creatures of youth and maiden, "types of humanity" as Watts said, are crushed by his heavy limbs, while behind a fire burns continuously, perhaps also within his massive breast.

Portraits.—In portraiture, as in other forms of art, Watts had distinct and peculiar views. He gradually came to the opinion, which he adopted as his first rule in portraiture, that it was his duty, not merely to copy the external features of the sitter, but to give what might be called an intellectual copy. He declared it to be possible and necessary for the sitter and painter to attain a unity of feeling and a sympathy, by which he (the painter) was inspired. Watts' earlier portraits, while being far from characterless, are not instances of the application of this principle. There is in them a slight tendency to eighteenth-century ideal portraiture, which so often took the sitter (and the observer too) back to times and attitudes, backgrounds and thunderstorms, that never were and never will be.

Watts, however, was slightly influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite school. He might, had he wished, have been their portrait painter—and indeed, the picture of the comely Mrs. Hughes, a kind, motherly creature, with a background of distant fields, minutely painted, is quite on the lines of Pre-Raphaelite realism.



(At the Tate Gallery)

Time and Death having travelled together through the ages, have run their course and are at length overthrown. Love alone arises on immortal wings, triumphantly, with outspread arms to the eternal skies.

Given to the nation in 1900.

Somewhat of the same character is the portrait of Mrs. Nassau Senior, who, with one knee on a sofa, is shown tending flowers, her rippling golden hair falling over her shoulders. A full-length portrait of Miss Mary Kirkpatrick Brunton, dated 1842, also belongs to the old style. Watts had a passion for human loveliness, and in his day some of the great beauties sat to him. The "Jersey Lily" (Mrs. Langtry) with her simple headdress and downcast eye, appeared at the Academy of 1879. "Miss Rachel Gurney" is a wonderful portrait of a flaming soul imprisoned in a graceful form and graceless dress. Miss Gurney is shown standing, turning slightly to the right with the head again turned over the right shoulder, while the whole effect of energy seems to be concentrated in the flashing eyes. Watts was able to interpret equally well personalities of a very different character, and perhaps the canvas representing Miss Edith Villiers is one of the most successful of his spiritual portraits. Miss Dorothy Dene, whose complexion Watts was one of the first to transfer to canvas, Miss Mary Anderson, and Miss Dorothy Maccallum, were all triumphantly depicted. He will be known, however, as the citizen portrait-painter of the nineteenth century, who preserved for us not merely the form, but the spirit of some of the greatest men of his day. Lord Tennyson sat three times. In 1859 the poet was shown in the prime of life, his hair and beard ruffled, his look determined. In 1864 we had another canvas—"the moonlight portrait"; the face is that of Merlin, meditative, thoughtful. As you look at it the features stand out with great clearness, the distance of the laurels behind his head can be estimated almost precisely, while seen through them is the gleam of the moon upon the distant water. The 1890 portrait, in scholastic robes, with grizzled beard, and hair diminished, is Tennyson the mystic, and reminds us of his "Ancient Sage"—

"... for more than once when I
Sat all alone, revolving in myself
The word that is the symbol of myself,
The Mortal limit of the self was loosed
And passed into the Nameless, as a cloud
Melts into heaven."

The portrait of John L. Motley, the American Minister to England in 1869, and author of "The Rise of the Dutch Republic," is one of the most successful paintings of handsome men; Watts here depicts perfectly the "spiritual body" of strength, purity, and appeal; the eyes are deepest blue, and the hair the richest brown. In this case the artist has, as he was so prone, fallen into symbolism even in portraiture, for we can trace in the background a faint picture of an old-time fighting ship.

Another classic portrait, so different to that by Whistler, is of Thomas Carlyle. The sage of Chelsea sits ruffled and untidy, with his hands resting on the head of a stick, and his features full of power. He seems protesting against the few hours' idleness, and anxious to get back to the strenuous life. The sitter was good enough to say that the portrait was of "a mad labourer"—not an unfair criticism of a very good portrait.

The Biblical Paintings are, as before said, in partial fulfilment of the frustrated scheme of "Cosmos." "Eve Repentant," in an attitude so typical of grief, is perhaps the most beautiful; it is one of a trilogy, the others being "She shall be called Woman," and "Eve Tempted." It is singular that in these three canvases the painter avoids the attempt to draw the face of the mother of the race. In the first the face is upturned, covered in shadow; in the second it is hid from view by the leaves of the forbidden tree, while in the third Eve turns her back and hides her weeping face with her arms. This habit of Watts to obscure the face is observed in "The Shuddering Angel," Judgment in "Time, Death, and Judgment," in "Love and Death," "Sic Transit," "Great Possessions," and some others. Often indeed a picture speaks as much of what is not seen as of what is seen.

Incidents from the Gospels are represented by "The Prodigal," where the outcast is seen crouching on the ground, his face fixed on vacuity, almost in the act of coming to himself. "For he had Great Possessions," is, however, the greatest and simplest of all. There the young man who went away sorrowful with bowed head, scarcely knowing what he has lost, is used by Watts as one of his most powerful criticisms of modern life. Although the incident is a definite isolated one, yet the costume, figure, chain of office, and jewelled fingers, clutching and releasing, are of no time or land in particular.

It is not a little remarkable that Watts, who had breathed so deeply the air of Italy, and had almost lived in company of Titian and Raphael, should never have attempted the figure of Christ or His apostles. This was, however, not without reason. His pictures were not only "for all time," but apart from time altogether. His only specific reference to Christianity is his beautiful canvas, "The Spirit of Christianity," in which he rebuked the Churches for their dissensions. A parental figure floats upon a cloud while four children nestle at her feet. The earth below is shrouded in darkness and gloom, despite the steeple tower raising its head above a distant village. The rebuke was immediately stimulated by the refusal of a certain church to employ Watts when the officials found he was not of their faith. In this picture Watts approached nearest to the Italian Madonnas both in form and colour.

The Mythical Paintings are, in the main, earlier than the Biblical series, but even here the same note of teaching is struck, and our human sympathies are drawn out towards the figure depicted. In one, "Echo" comes to find her lover transformed into a flower; in another, "Psyche," through disobedience, has lost her love. She gazes regretfully at a feather fallen from Cupid's wing; it is a pink feather, such as might be taken from the plumage of the little Lord of Love who vainly opposes Death in his approach to the beloved one. In "Psyche," Watts has made the pale body expressive of abject loss; there is no physical effort, except in the well-expanded feet, and no other thought but lost love.

The legend of "Diana and Endymion" was painted three times—"good, better, best." A shepherd loved the Moon, who in his sleep descends from heaven to embrace him. The canvas of 1903 must be regarded as the final success—the sleeping figure is more asleep, his vision more dreamlike and diaphanous. "Orpheus and Eurydice" (painted three times) is perhaps the greatest of his classical pictures. It is one of the few compositions that were considered by its author as "finished." Here again the lover through disobedience loses his love; the falling figure of Eurydice is one of the most beautiful and realistic of all the series of Watts' nudes, and the agony of loss, the energy of struggle, are magnificently drawn in the figure of Orpheus. Looking at the canvas, one recalls the lines of the old Platonic poet-philosopher Boëthius:

"At length the shadowy king,
His sorrows pitying,
'He hath prevailed!' cried;
'We give him back his bride!
To him she shall belong,
As guerdon of his song.
One sole condition yet
Upon the boon is set;
Let him not turn his eyes
To view his hard-won prize,
Till they securely pass
The gates of Hell.' Alas!
What law can lovers move?
A higher law is love!
For Orpheus—woe is me!—
On his Eurydice—
Day's threshold all but won—
Looked, lost, and was undone!"

In "The Minotaur," that terrible creature, half man, half bull, crushing with his hideous claw the body of a bird, stands ever waiting to consume by his cruel lust the convoy of beauteous forms coming unseen and unwilling over the sea to him. It is an old myth, but Watts intended it for a modern message. The picture was painted by him in the heat of indignation in three hours.

A small but very important group of paintings, which I call "The Pessimistic Series," begins with "Life's Illusions," painted in 1849. "It is," says Watts, "an allegorical design typifying the march of human life." Fair visions of Beauty, the abstract embodiments of divers forms of Hope and Ambition, hover high in the air above the gulf which stands as the goal of all men's lives. At their feet lie the shattered symbols of human greatness and power, and upon the narrow space of earth that overhangs the deep abyss are figured the brighter forms of illusions that endure through every changing fashion of the world. A knight in armour pricks on his horse in quick pursuit of the rainbow-tinted bubble of glory; on his right are two lovers; on his left an aged student still pores over his work by the last rays of the dying sun; while in the shadow of the group may be seen the form of a little child chasing a butterfly.

This picture has the merit, along with "Fata Morgana," of combining the teaching element with one of the finest representations of woman's form that came from Watts' brush. He was one of those who vigorously defended the painting of the nude. These are some of his words:

"One of the great missions of art—the greatest indeed—is to serve the same grand and noble end as poetry by holding in check that natural and ever-increasing tendency to hypocrisy which is consequent upon and constantly nurtured by civilisation. My aim is now, and will be to the end, not so much to paint pictures which are delightful to the eye, but pictures which will go to the intelligence and the imagination, and kindle there what is good and noble, and which will appeal to the heart. And in doing this I am forced to paint the nude."

"Fata Morgana" is a picture of Fortune or Opportunity pursued and lost by an ardent horseman. It was painted twice, first in the Italian style, and again in what must be called Watts' own style—much the finer effort. This picture shows us what, in the artist's view, man in this mortal life desires, pursues, and mostly loses. Fortune has a lock of hair on her forehead by which alone she may be captured, and as she glides mockingly along, she leads her pursuers across rock, stream, dale, desert, and meadow typical of life. The pursuit of the elusive is a favourite theme with Watts, and is set forth by the picture "Mischief." Here a fine young man is battling for his liberty against an airy spirit representing Folly or Mischief. Humanity bends his neck beneath the enchanter's yoke—a wreath of flowers thrown round his neck—and is led an unwilling captive; as he follows the roses turn to briars about his muscular limbs, and at every step the tangle becomes denser, while one by one the arrows drop from his hand. The thought of "Life's Illusions" and "Fata Morgana" is again set forth in "Sic Transit Gloria Mundi," where we see the body of a king whose crown, and all that represents to him the glory of the world, is left at death. It is not, however, in Watts' conception essential glory that passes away, but the Glory of the World. Upon the dark curtain that hangs behind the shrouded figure are words that represent his final wisdom, "What I spent, I had; what I saved, I lost; what I gave, I have."



(At the Manchester Art Gallery)

This is an early picture, painted in the year 1852 and presented to the city of Manchester by the artist in honour of the prison philanthropist, a native of that city.

These I call "Pessimistic paintings," because they represent the true discovery ever waiting to be made by man, that the sum total of all that can be gained in man's external life—wealth, fame, strength, and power—that these inevitably pass from him. To know this, to see it clearly, to accept it, is the happiness of the pessimist, who thenceforward fixes his hope and bends his energies to the realisation of other and higher goods. In this he becomes an optimist, for this is the pursuit, as Watts never ceases to teach, in which man can and does attain his goal. Thus our prophet-painter, having seen and known and felt all this, having tested it in the personal and intimate life, brings to a triumphant close his great series, where positive rather than negative teaching is given.

The Great Realities.—We have seen in "Chaos" primordial matter; we have now from Watts' brush the origin of things on the metaphysical side. In "The All-pervading," there sits the Spirit of the Universe, holding in her lap the globe of the systems, the representation of the last conclusions of philosophy. This mysterious picture is very low in tone, conforming to Watts' rule to make the colouring suit the subject. Here there is nothing hard or defined; the spirit of the universe is merely suggested or hinted at, his great wings enclose all. The elliptical form of this composition is seen again in "Death Crowning Innocence" and "The Dweller in the Innermost," and the same expressive indefiniteness and lowness of the colour tones. In the latter effort we have the figure of Conscience, winged, dumb-faced and pensive, seated within a glow of light. On her forehead is the shining star, and in her lap the arrows which pierce through all disguises, and a trumpet that proclaims peace to the world. Here, therefore, is the greatest reality from the psychological side. We have also cosmical paintings representing "Evolution," "Progress," the "Slumber of the Ages," and "Destiny," all of them asking and answering; not indeed finally and dogmatically, but as Watts desired that his pictures should do, stimulating in the observer both the asking and the answering faculty. In "Faith" we have a companion to "Hope." Wearied and saddened by persecutions, she washes her blood-stained feet in a running stream, and recognising the influence of Love in all the beauty of Nature, she feels that the sword is not the best argument, and takes it off. The colouring of this picture is rich and forcible, the maroon robe of the figure being one of Watts' favourite attempts.

A satisfying picture of a little child emerging from the latest wave on the shore of humanity's ocean, asks the question, Whence and Whither. I reserve for "Hope" the final word (see Plate III.). If, as I said, the optimism which is spiritual and ideal springs from the pessimism which is material and actual, so too does Hope grow from the bosom of Despair. This the picture shows. Crouching on the sphere of the world sits the blindfold figure of a woman, bending her ear to catch the music of one only string preserved on her lyre. When everything has failed, there is Hope; and Hope looks, in Watts' teaching, for that which cannot fail, but which is ever triumphant, namely, Love.

The Love Series.—According to Watts, Love steers the boat of humanity, who is seen in one of his canvases tossed about and almost shipwrecked. Love does not do this easily, but he does it. Love, as a winged youth, also guides Life, a fragile maiden, up the rocky steep—Life, that would else fail and fall. Violets spring where Love has trod, and as they ascend to the mountain top the air becomes more golden. This picture, "Love and Life" (see Plate V.) was painted four times. "Love and Death," painted three times, represents the irresistible figure of Death tenderly, yet firmly, entering a door where we know lies the beloved one. This is an eternal theme, suggested, I believe, by a temporal incident—the death of a young member of the Prinsep family. Love vainly pushes back the imperious figure; the protecting flowers are trodden down and the dove mourns; and with it all we feel that though Love fears Death, yet Death respects Love. Just as "Love and Death" are companion pictures and tell complementary truths, so "Time, Death, and Judgment" is related to "Love Triumphant" (see Plate VI.). In the one we see Time, represented by a mighty youth half clad in a red cloak, striding along with great vigour. His companion, whom he holds by the hand, is Death, the sad mother with weary, downcast eye and outspread lap ready to receive her load; but with neither of them is the final word, for Judgment, poised in the clouds, wields his fiery sword of eternal law and holds the balance before his hidden face. In "Love Triumphant" Love takes the place of, and transcends Judgment. Time and Death having travelled together through the ages, are in the end overthrown, and Love alone rises on immortal wings. Thus the stoical painter reaches his greatest height—tells his best truth.

The Death Series.—As may be expected, Death has no terrors for the fundamental Watts. Never once does Death look with hollow eyes and sunken cheeks, or grasp with bony fingers at the living. In "Death Crowning Innocence," as a mother she puts her halo on the infant Innocence, whom she claims. Death holds a Court to which all must go—priest, soldier, king, cripple, beautiful woman, and young child. The lion must die, the civilisation be overthrown, wealth, fame, and pride must be let go—so Watts shows in his "Court of Death"; all come to the end of the book marked Finis. Death is calm and majestic, with angel wings, and overhead are the figures of Silence and Mystery, guarding, but partially revealing what is beyond the veil—sunrise and the star of hope; while even in the lap of Death nestles a new-born babe—the soul passing into new realms through the gates of Death.

Again, Death is the Messenger who comes, not to terrify, but as an ambassador to call the soul away from this alien land, quietly touching the waiting soul with the finger-tips. In the beautiful "Paolo and Francesca" the lovers are seen as Dante told of them; wafted along by the infernal wind; of them he spoke:

"... Bard! Willingly
I would address these two together coming,
Which seem so light before the wind."

Francesca's reply to Dante is of Love and Death:

"Love, that in gentle heart is quickly learnt,
Entangled him by that fair form...;
Love, that denial takes from none beloved,
Caught me with pleasing him so passing well,
That as thou seest, he yet deserts me not.
Love brought us to one death."

Watts has admirably caught the sweetness and sorrow of this situation in his beautiful picture, which, again, is one of the very few he considered finally "finished." It is almost a monochrome of blues and greys.

In "Time and Oblivion," one of the earliest of the symbolical paintings, Time is again the stalwart man of imperishable youth, while Oblivion, another form of Death, spreads her mantle of darkness over all, claiming all.

Landscapes.—Although Watts will ever be remembered for his allegorical, biblical, and portrait painting, yet he was by no means deficient in landscape art. Indeed, he carried into that branch of work his peculiar personality. Not only do his landscapes depict beautiful scenery in a fitting manner, joining atmosphere, sunshine, and colour, but they convey in an extraordinary degree the mood of Nature and of Man. "The Sphinx by Night" has an air of mystery about it that immediately impresses the spectator, and tells him something that cannot be communicated by words. The Italian and the Asiatic canvases by Watts, "Florence," "Fiesole," "Correna," "Cos," and "Asia Minor," all induce the feeling of repose and happiness, and the message that Nature sends to her devotees comes sweetly and calmly in "The Rainbow," where we look over an extensive valley from high ground, while heavy clouds and the rainbow adorn the upper air. In "The Cumulus" we "see skyward great cloud masses rolling, silently swelling and mixing." They recall perhaps the memories of the child, to whom the mountains of the air are a perpetual wonder. When in Savoy in 1888, Watts painted the Alps, again with a cloudy sky and a rocky foreground. In this the quietude of the scene penetrates the beholder. English landscape, to which all true hearts return, was successfully depicted, both in form and spirit, by Watts' "Landscape with Hayricks" (like the Brighton Downs), a quiet view from the summit of a hillside, on which are seen some hayricks. But perhaps the highest of them all is that very peaceful idyll named "All the air a solemn stillness holds." It was a view from the garden of Little Holland House. The time is sunset; a man and two horses are wending their way home. There are farm buildings on the left, and a thick wood in the background. In this one we feel how thoroughly Watts uses all forms as expressions of his invisible moods. In purely imaginative landscape, however, Watts struck his highest note. His "Deluge" canvases are wonderful attempts; in "The Dove that returned in the Evening," the bird is the only creature seen flying across the dreary waste of waters, placid but for three long low waves. On the horizon the artist has dimly suggested the ark of Noah. "Mount Ararat" is especially worthy of mention among the landscapes.



(At the Manchester Art Gallery)

This is one of the most simple and beautiful of Watts' early works. The young woman is kneeling at the table, book in hand, her mind absorbed in thoughts of reverence. Painted in 1860.

Before Watts entered upon his series of great imaginative paintings he had used realism for didactic purposes. In those days his work was less rugged than in later times, and had a delicateness and refinement which is seen to perfection in some of his earlier portraits. A few of these efforts may be mentioned. "Study" is the bust of a girl, with long red hair, looking upwards; it represents a beautiful combination of spirituality and human affection. "The Rain it raineth every day" is a picture of ennui and utter weariness, beautifully and sympathetically expressed. The colouring is very brave. In "Prayer" (see Plate VIII.) the simplicity of the treatment may lead any one to pass it by as something slight and conventional, but it is perhaps one of the greatest of this type where simplicity and spirituality are combined. In "Choosing" Watts approached very near to the summit of simplicity and charm. A golden-haired girl is choosing a camellia blossom; but where all are so beautiful it is difficult for her to decide. Great interest in this picture lies in the fact that it was painted in 1864, and was drawn from Watts' young bride Miss Ellen Terry. One is almost tempted to find in this picture the germ of allegory which grew to such heights in the artist's later efforts.

The Warrior Series.—Watts, like Ruskin and many other of the nineteenth-century philosophic artists, idealised warfare. His warriors are not clad in khaki; they do not crouch behind muddy earthworks. They are of the days before the shrapnel shell and Maxim gun; they wear bright steel armour, wield the sword and lance, and by preference they ride on horseback. Indeed, they are of no time or country, unless of the house of Arthur and the land of Camelot.

We are thus able to understand the characteristic of Watts' warrior pictures. The first is "Caractacus," the British chief; though no Christian, he is the earliest of Watts' heroes. The second is the beautiful "Sir Galahad," whose strength was as the strength of ten, because his heart was pure. We see a knight standing bare-headed at the side of his white horse, gazing with rapt eyes on the vision of the Holy Grail, which in the gloom and solitude of the forest has suddenly dawned on his sight. The features of young Arthur Prinsep, with his bushy hair, who later became a general in the British army, can be detected in this wonderful and simple picture. Its composition is like a stained-glass window. It is of all Watts' perhaps the nearest to mysticism, and at the same time it is an appeal to the young to be like Sir Galahad. The original is in Eton College Chapel.

In 1863 followed "The Eve of Peace," in which we see a warrior of middle age, much like Watts himself at that time, who has lost the passion for warfare, sheathing his sword, glad to have it all over. The peacock feather that is strewn on the floor of "The Court of Death," and lies by the bier in "Sic Transit," is fastened to the warrior's casque. "Aspiration," also taken from young Prinsep (1866), is a picture of a young man in the dawn of life's battle, who, wishing to be a standard-bearer, looks out across the plain. He sees into the great possibilities of human life, and the ardent spirit of life is sobered by the burden of responsibilities. "Watchman, what of the Night?" is another wonderful composition, representing a figure with long hair, clad in armour, looking out into the darkness of the night, with his hand grasping the hilt of the sword. The colour, low in tone, and the whole composition, indicate doubt and yet faith. Ellen Terry was the model for this painting.

"The Condottiere" represents the fighting spirit of the Middle Ages. This soldier is, like the others, clad in armour, and is not likely to have a vision of the Holy Grail. His features represent the determination and vigour which were required of him in those ferocious days. "The Red Cross Knight accompanying Una" is a charming picture, representing an incident in Spenser's "Faëry Queen," but the palm must be given to "The Happy Warrior," who is depicted at the moment of death, his head falling back, and his helmet unloosed, catching a glimpse of some angelic face, who speaks to him in terms of comfort and of peace. This picture, of all the others, shows how Watts has insisted on carrying to the very highest point of idealism the terrible activities of warfare:

"This, the Happy Warrior, this is he,
That every man in arms should wish to be."

He sent a copy, the original of which is in the Munich Gallery, to Lord Dufferin, whose son was killed in the South African War, and he declares that many bereaved mothers have thanked him for the inspiration and comfort it has brought to them.

Watts' pictures are widely distributed; a roomful may be seen at the Tate Gallery, Millbank, S.W. Nearly all the portraits of public men are at the National Portrait Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London. There is a portrait of Thomas Carlyle in the South Kensington Museum, three or four pictures at the Manchester Corporation Gallery, and one at the Leicester Art Gallery. There are also several of Watts' best pictures in a gallery attached to his country house at Compton in Surrey; while his fresco "Justice" can be seen at the Benchers' Hall, Lincoln's Inn.

Watts was conscious of the benefit he had received from the great men who had preceded him, and in his best moments so essentially humble, that in his last will and testament, and the letters of gift, he rises to the great height of artistic patriotism which always appeared to him in the light of a supreme duty.

The former document has the following phrases: "I bequeath all my studies and works to any provincial gallery or galleries in Great Britain or Ireland, which my executors shall in their discretion select, and to be distributed between such galleries." This Will is dated November 1, 1899, and relates to such works as had not already been disposed of. His great gift to the nation was made in 1897, accompanied by a characteristic letter in which he says:

"You can have the pictures any time after next Sunday. I have never regarded them as mine, but never expected they would be placed anywhere until after my death, and only see now my presumption and their defects and shrink from the consequences of my temerity! I should certainly like to have them placed together, but of course can make no conditions. One or two are away, and I am a little uncertain about the sending of some others; if you could spare a moment I should like to consult you."

A few weeks later, following a letter from the Keeper of the National Gallery, he writes as follows:

"I beg to thank you and through you the Trustees and Director of the National Gallery for the flattering intention of placing the tablet you speak of, but while returning grateful thanks for the intention of doing me this honour I should like it to be felt that I have in no way desired anything but the recognition that my object in work, and the offering of it, has only been the hope of spending my time and exercising my experience in a worthy manner, leaving to time further judgment. Most certainly I desire that my pictures should be seen to advantage, and have a good effect as an encouragement to artists of stronger fibre and greater vitality, to pursue if only occasionally a similar direction and object."

At the end of a long life by no means devoid of mistakes and disappointments, it would seem as though Watts attained to his desires. The man has passed away, while the witness of his aspirations remains.