|Artist||after George Frederick Watts|
|Published||The Art Journal, London. J.S. Virtue & Co. Ltd. c.1900|
From the 'Art Journal'.
The 'Art Journal' originally opposed the emerging Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, with its articles attacking the the movement and its supporter, John Ruskin. When the editor, Samuel Carter Hall, retired in 1880, the Art Journal changed its stance.
In this picture Love is shown guiding a naked, frail young woman up the rocky path of existence. As they climb, flowers blossom on the stones surrounding them and the clouds part to reveal a clear sky. Love is here understood as altruism and compassion, rather than physical passion.
George Frederic Watts (1817 – 1904) was a popular English Victorian painter and sculptor associated with the Symbolist and Pre-Raphaelite movements. Watts 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. His large allegorical works on universal themes appealed deeply to the Victorians, and he was considered to be the greatest English artist of his age.