Highlights in the Exhibition watts

Highlights in the De Morgan Collection at Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village


Ruby Luste earthenware tile with a peacock in front of a tufted background. On an engobe ground.


Ruby Luste earthenware tile with an apparently early variation on the BBB design on a Dutch blank.

Study for ‘Boreas and Oreithyia’, male head looking down to left

Study of a male head for Evelyn De Morgan’s painting ‘Boreas and Oreithyia’. This study displays the model’s striking eyes and cheekbones and his expression conveys a pensiveness which contrasts with more typical violent and corporeal representations of Boreas. The model’s striking appearance and melancholic attitude may have affected Evelyn’s final composition and representation of the Greek God.


Walter Shaw Sparrow (1900) explained this painting as follows: In a dark and desolate country, an aged king broods over his hoard of gold, while the dark Angel of Death approaches, a cloud-like mantle floating around her. It is strewn with stars and a moon shines dimly in the angel’s dusky wing, al...

Cadmus and Harmonia

The subject of the painting is from Ovid’s Metamorphoses (Book IV, 563-603). After Cadmus is changed into a serpent by Mars, his wife Harmonia begs for a similar fate, which is granted. Here we see Harmonia in the embrace of her transfigured husband. However, De Morgan deviates from Metamorphoses by...

Daughters of the Mist

These Daughters of the Mist may be connected to Hans Christian Andersen’s story of the Little Mermaid. She kills herself for life, but as a mermaid, does not have an immortal soul. In the story, the daughters of the air welcome the little mermaid and tell her that if she does good deeds for 300 year...


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