Study for the Drowning of the Doctor. George Frederick Watts (1817−1904). c. 1843−45. Watercolor on paper. 252 x 176 mm (9 15/26 x 6 15/16 inches). Composition: 120 x 160 mm (4 3/4 x 6 5/16 inches). Inscribed center left: "By. G.F. Watts / Study for the drowning of the doctor." Lower half of the sheet contains several studies of figures. Provenance: from the artist's wife Mary to Michael and Lilian Chapman, and thence by descent. Three pictures were bought together as Lot 203, Sotheby's, 13th October 2004. [Click on the images to enlarge them.]

Commentary by Paul Crowther

The final version of this work is a fresco in the Villa Medicea di Careggi. It represents furious retainers of the Medici family throwing the Doctor who failed to save Lorenzo the Magnificent’s life, into a well. The present work is a partial study, and involves female assassins rather than the male ones featured in the actual fresco.

You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the Crowther-Oblak Collection of Victorian Art and the National Gallery of Slovenia and the Moore Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway (2) and link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.


Crowther, Paul. Awakening Beauty: The Crowther-Oblak Collection of Victorian Art. Exhibition catalogue. Ljubljana: National Gallery of Slovenia; Galway: Moore Institute, National University of Ireland, 2014. No. 148.

Created 12 January 2015