Ellen Terry

Ellen Terry

George Frederic Watts RA (1817-1904)


Coloured chalks on paper

4 1/2 inches

This drawing is an early idea for Watts' portrait of the seventeen-year-old actress Ellen Terry, painted the year after they met in 1864. [Choosing, National Portrait Gallery). Despite their age difference (30 years), Watts became infatuated with her and determined to remove her 'from the temptations and abominations of the stage', by marrying her. A year later, they were separated. — Rupert Maas