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Edition of 3, and 2 Artist's Proofs
76 x 85 cm / 30" x 34"
Undeniably one of Ross Watson's most detailed paintings, requiring no less than two months continual work, this exceptional and large scale work references Diana and Cupid by Pompeo Batoni, and features Bel Ami’s popular and handsome Dolph Lambert.
One of the most successful painters in 18th Century Rome, Batoni, like Watson, catered mostly for a foreign audience. He painted the work in 1761, which captured Watson’s attention on one of his visits to the Metropolitan Museum, and shows Diana the goddess of the hunt withholding the bow from Cupid. Cupid is normally depicted with Venus the goddess of love, though here it is Diana who is also the Goddess of chastity and the moon who playfully chastises him for using a hunting weapon to instill love.
Watson’s masterful incorporation of Lambert within the composition creates an arching visual curve above the group, between Cupid and the bow, which introduces a curious ambiguity as to the target of Cupid's reaching. Given Watson never alters the proportions, or re-arranges figures within a classical artwork he is referencing, it is striking to to observe the seated dog looking longingly up to Lambert, whose luminous peaches and cream complexion compliments those of Diana and Cupid.
Diana and Cupid was painted for Sir Humphrey Morice (1723–1785), son of a wealthy merchant and director of the Bank of England. Morice was a great animal lover and commissioned from Batoni a portrait of himself reclining in the Roman countryside after the hunt as a pendant to this canvas, which although full of extraordinary warmth and feeling, the figure of Diana is based on a celebrated ancient statue of the sleeping Ariadne in the Vatican.
Complete with exquisitely painted details, including the dozens of coloured feathers in Cupid’s wings, this fine trophy painting is set to be an important centre-piece in Watson’s New York exhibition this June.
These are our most collectable editions.
All available Edition Canvases are in an edition of three with two artist's proofs. They are hand-signed and numbered by Ross Watson on the reverse (non-image) side of the canvas. Your preferred edition number to purchase can be selected from the top menu.
An Artist's Proof is the same quality as the editions numbered 1-3, and is the first print produced when colour and quality is perfected. Each canvas is of equal quality and value.
Edition Canvases are printed with archival inks on the world's leading archival canvas: Hahnemühle Daguerre.
Use of glass in framing is optional, eliminating potential of reflections when viewing your canvas.
The sizes provided are the unframed image size. The canvases are printed with a generous white border and we recommend they be placed on a wooden stretcher before adding a decorative frame.
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“Ross has such an amazing talent. I’m loving the canvas prints as I work in my home office. Thank you for your help and speed.”
Brent Forster, London UK