Oil on canvas
Evolution is Watts’s own title for this painting. Its academic style echoes Renaissance art, but the symbolic theme is clearly a response to Darwin’s ideas. Watts also referred to it as a depiction of 'the Earthmother,' looking gloomily into an uncertain future, and ignoring her 'troublesome children.' There are apparently far too many of these children, and they are already squabbling among themselves. Unlike traditional pictures of Mother Nature nurturing her offspring, this image points to the likelihood of a Darwinian struggle for existence.
Lent by the Watts Gallery, Compton, Surrey.