About this artwork
Clytie, a Greek water nymph, was turned into a sunflower by the gods. The Victorian sculptor George Frederick Watts used this subject as a meditation on transformation, blending male and female elements in this bust, much as Michelangelo had done in his sculptures. Watts’s composite approach gives the work a powerful and experimental quality, which is enhanced by the presence of mold marks. Plaster casts were made from piece molds that left mold lines after casting. Normally these would have been smoothed away, but Watts chose to leave them here. The presence of these lines in the cast invites comparison with bronzes by Watts’s younger contemporary Auguste Rodin, in which mold lines are also preserved.
- George Frederick Watts
- Cast 1868
- H. 89 cm (35 in.)
- Lacy Armour Endowment; through prior gift of George F. Harding Collection