Sotheby's, Belgravia, 30 March 1982, lot 169, bought by Christopher Wood; Sotheby's New York, 10 November 1998, lot 138 where purchased by Seymour Stein
The present picture is a version of Watts’ painting of 1885 Idle Child of Fancy (Watts Gallery, Compton) which depicts Cupid, the God of Love sitting on the top of the world. He has his bow in one hand and an arrow in the other and smiles contentedly as tumultuous weather swirls around him. The idea of depicting an allegory of one of the virtues (Love) sitting on a celestial orb was used a year later in 1886 when Watts painted the first two versions of his most famous picture Hope.
The canvas has been laid down which is providing a stable structural support - the edges of the canvas can be seen at the extremities. There are small areas of localised craquelure, on the boy's legs and in small areas of the background. The paint surface is dirty and may benefit from a light clean. There are areas that have been reworked and altered by the artist where pentiment is visible - part of the creative process.
UNDER ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT
The dirty varnish appears opaque and makes a conclusive reading difficult but there do not seem to be any major areas of restoration.
The picture is contained in an attractive Victorian-style moulded gilt frame with laureate decoration and under glass. "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."