Study for the Figure of Life for Love and Life 1884-85

The Watts Gallery Artists’ Village in Surrey is heading into its bicentenary year in 2017, and Watts 200 will be a programme of celebrations marking the milestone.

The Watts 200 programme will celebrate the life and work of the Victorian artist, George Frederic Watts, and will take place at the Watts Gallery where some of his work is displayed.

Launching on what would have been Watts’s birthday, 23rd February, the celebratory programme will include highlights such as a display of the artist’s murals, an exhibition of masterpieces by Watts from public and private collections, and a concert of music said to have been beloved by the artist.

Three exhibitions

Three major exhibitions will run throughout 2017 at the Watts gallery. G F Watts: England’s Michelangelo, will run from 20th June until 26th November, and showcase a number of the artist’s most important works from museum and private collections.

Highlights will include paintings such as Choosing, and Good Samaritan.

Monumental Murals, meanwhile, will run from 28th February until 5th November, and will be the first exhibition to showcase Watts’s mural projects.

The third exhibition, A Life in Art: G F Watts 1817 – 1904, will also run from 28th February until 5th November, and present a chronological journey through the artist’s illustrious life, illustrated by some of his drawings.

Other events

The exhibitions will be accompanied by a series of events, like An Evening of Victorian Song on 24th May – one of a number of musical and theatrical productions to be held in Watts Gallery during the year.

Groups can also attend an event in August that explores Watts’s philanthropic activities; a one-day seminar that will focus on the theme of artists as reformers in British art during the period c.1850-1900.

Group travel organisers can find out more information by visiting

Pictured: G F Watts (1817-1904) Study for the Figure of Life for Love and Life 1884-85. (Photo credit: Watts Gallery Trust).