Physical Energy

I walked into the courtyard of the RA this morning to be confronted by G.F. Watts’s great equestrian statue titled Physical Energy, a gesso model of which survives at the Watts Gallery and a full-scale bronze on display (but not much noticed) in Kensington Gardens.   A version was also displayed in 1904 in the courtyard of the RA and it is to mark this and draw attention to the work of the Watts Gallery that a new cast made by Pangolin is being shown again:-




5 thoughts on “Physical Energy

  1. Well done, the RA ! The Watts is an excellent gallery and deserves the raised profile.

    Watts himself merits more attention – Douglas Cooper considered him a far better artist than the Pre-Raphaelites.

  2. The sculpture is magnificent. Mark makes an interesting point that I often agree with: I’m not particularly fond of the Pre-Raphaelites, finding the whole pseudo-Medieval posing a bit silly. Though often technically rich and magnificent, the emotional blankness (no matter if intended or not) of most of the genre leaves me cold.

    • says:

      It is hard not notice Physical Energy in Kensington Gardens. It is the heart of the park as well as being bang in the middle of the sight line of Kensington Palace to the Henry Moore Sculpture on the Serpentine. A great many Londoners and tourists, dog walkers and school children (I was one once) who love to scramble up onto the granite plinth are very familiar with this noble bronze.

      • I only noticed last time I walked past it that there were lots of people walking and running past it, but not paying it any attention, whereas in the courtyard it commands one’s attention. Charles

    • says:

      I am reading, and very much enjoying “Lady Audley’s Secret” in which Lucy Audley’s true character is revealed by the Pre Raphaelite artist “ I suppose the painter must have copied quaint medieval monstrosities until his brain had grown bewildered, for my lady, in his portrait of her, had something of the aspect of a beautiful fiend.”

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