Frederick Waters Watts
(1800 - 1862 )
Frederick Waters Watts was an extremely fine painter whose work was greatly influenced by Constable. He lived in Hampstead all his life and until 1830 he lived in the High Street. Constable lived nearby and although Watts was never his pupil and there is no record of them being acquainted, he was familiar with the environment in which the great artist lived and may have had occasion to watch him at work. As far as it is known, Watts painted only a small number of Continental subjects during the late 1820’s, his preference being given to English scenery. Often he painted outdoors and was particularly interested in depicting locks, water mills and river scenes. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1821 to 1860. He also exhibited at the British Institute, the Royal Society of British Artists and the National Watercolour Society. In 1879, Sir A.G. Temple described Watts’ work as having “the vigour of Constable but with gentler touch”. However, Watts preserved his own distinctive style and colouring. He continued to work thirty years after Constable’s death and his work is now enjoying a well-deserved appreciation. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London have examples of his work. Literature: Paviere “Landscape”; Maas “Victorian Painters”; E. Benezit “Dictionary of Artists”; C. Wood “Dictionary of Victorian Painters”.