Hope is blindfolded, seated on a globe and playing a lyre of which all but one of the strings are broken. But Hope’s attempts to make music appear futile. Watts explained that ‘Hope need not mean expectancy. It suggests here rather the music which can come from the remaining chord’.
George Frederic Watts
142.2 x 111.8 cm
Oil on canvas
Date of work
Watts was a popular English Victorian painter and sculptor and was a driving force behind the Symbolist movement. He said "I paint ideas, not things." Watts was in demand as a portrait painter and painted many of the leading figures of the time. He became famous in his lifetime for his allegorical works, such as Hope and Love and Life. These paintings were intended to form part of an epic symbolic cycle called the "House of Life", in which the emotions and aspirations of life would all be represented in a universal symbolic language.