Watts and the RA

I have just spotted in the footnotes to Chloe Ward’s excellent short book on The Drawings of G.F. Watts an entry in Mary Watts’s unpublished diary for 22 January 1891 which gives some indication of her husband’s view of the RA: ‘More and more one regrets that Signor should even nominally be connected with such a dull stupid institution, where in future times all the greatest names of the day will be outside – Rossetti, Holman Hunt, Burne Jones and many more – why does one go on hoping for any improvement ?  It becomes more and more impossible each year.   Only love of Sir Frederic (Leighton) keeps Signor there’.

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