Friday, February 20, 2009

Found Drowned

George Frederick Watts RA (1817-1904).
Found Drowned 1867
Oil on canvas.
The Watts Gallery, Compton. (presently exhibited at The Guildhall Art Gallery, London)

The title is taken from the gloomy daily column in the The Times which published lists of women, mostly prostitutes, found dead in the Thames

It seems that his painting was based on Thomas Hood's (1799-1845) poem the "Bridge of Sighs."

It is perhaps too "Victorian", melodramatic and didactic for modern tastes.

Note the religious symbolism: the cross pose of the woman; the star above the woman; the light which shines on her body