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George Frederic Watts RA, Two studies of a male nude for 'The Denunciation of Cain'

Two studies of a male nude for 'The Denunciation of Cain', by 1872

George Frederic Watts RA (1817 - 1904)

RA Collection: Art

This chalk drawing of a muscular male figure is a study for 'The Denunciation of Cain' (Royal Academy of Arts) which depicts Cain punished for killing his brother, Abel. The subject came out of Watts's 'House of Life' project. The artist explained that these nude figures swooping down from the sky represent 'denouncing spirits' and 'the voices of conscience' cursing the first murderer. The powerful but loosely drawn figures are suggestive of the artist's definition of 'perfect drawing' when 'there is apparently no drawing at all, when a finger, for example, is expressed by one sensitive glowing sweep of colour'.

Object details

Two studies of a male nude for 'The Denunciation of Cain'
by 1872
Object type
Black and white chalk on brown wove paper

522 mm x 343 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Bequeathed by George Frederic Watts RA 1904

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