GEORGE FREDERIC WATTS, O.M., R.A.
Portrait of The Countess Somers
oil on panel
44 by 38cm., 17½ by 13in.
The panel has a vertical split running near the centre from top to bottom edge. This has been stablised on the reverse with joins. The paint surface is dirty with an uneven varnish.
Ultraviolet light reveals minor retouchings to the girl's cheek and chin; and further localised retouchings in the sky.
Held in a gilt Watts frame.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed,
professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Sotheby's, London, 21 June 1989, lot 128;
Sotheby's, London, 1 July 2004, lot 296A, where purchased by Stan Battat
Probably Newcastle, Laing Art Gallery, Works by the Late G.F. Watts, August 1905, no.39
Virginia Pattle (1826-1910) married Sir Charles Newton, Lord Somers on 2 October 1850, an event which left Watts ‘deeply grieved by the thought that Lady Somers had married; we thought she ought not to marry any one.’ (Mary Seton Watts, George Frederic Watts – The Annals of an Artist’s Life, 1912, p.126) Watts painted her numerous times as a mark of his love and she later recalled; ‘I was never dazzled by another painter’s brush… all other brushes were like boot-brushes to me.’ (ibid Watts, p.122) Ironically it was said that Somers fell in love with Virginia after seeing one of Watts’ portraits of her.