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Watts produced this canvas whilst in Italy after the announcement by the commissioners in 1846 of a competition for artists 'skilled in oil painting'. Watts depicts obvious allusions to Renaissance masters and was dubbed 'England's Michelangelo' however his only contribution to the interior decoration of the new palace of Westminster were this painting and a fresco of Saint George. An admirer of his work; John Ruskin made reference to this in a letter to a friend dated 1849; 'Do you know Watts? The man who is not employed on Houses of Parliament – to my mind the only real painter of history or thought we have in England.
oil on canvas
342.9 x 579.1 cm