Eye Candy for Today: Choosing, Watts

Dame Alice Ellen Terry (Choosing),  George Frederick Watts
Dame Alice Ellen Terry (Choosing), George Frederick Watts.

On Wikimedia Commons, title page here.

Original is in the National Portrait Gallery, London.

A little Victorian morality play, choosing between the camellias, which are dramatically beautiful but don’t have a strong scent — representing worldly pursuits, and the violets, more subdued in appearance, but with a a stronger scent — representing the more subtle higher virtues.

The same year this was painted, the artist, then in his late 40’s, married the sitter, who was 17. The marriage lasted a year.