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Oil painting - Mary, wife of Constantine Ionides
  • Mary, wife of Constantine Ionides
    Watts, George Frederic OM, RA, born 1817 - died 1904
  • Enlarge image

Mary, wife of Constantine Ionides

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (painted)

  • Date:

    1842 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Watts, George Frederic OM, RA, born 1817 - died 1904 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Constantine Alexander Ionides

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

George Frederick Watts (1817-1904) had little formal training as a painter. In 1835 he entered the Royal Academy Schools but was rarely there, preferring instead to learn from his own studies of objects such as the Elgin Marbles.

Despite being a successful history painter, Watts is best known for his portraits. He painted many of the notable figures of his day including William Morris and Cardinal Manning. He travelled widely and exhibiting abroad, on the Continent and in New York, helped establish his reputation as a prominent artist. Watts was elected ARA early in 1867 and then RA later the same year.

This portrait was one of around ten portraits by Watts of various members of the Ionides family. Constantine Alexander Ionides was a keen collector of art and when he died in 1900 he bequeathed over a thousand paintings, drawings and prints to the Victoria and Albert Museum. This particular painting of his grandmother Mary is one of a group of 20 family portraits which, while part of the original bequest, did not come to the museum until the death of his widow in 1920.

Physical description

Half-length, full face portrait of an elderly lady with brown hair and eyes, seated with hands joined on her lap facing the viewer. She has a wart on the forehead. She wears a red and green turban, a green bodice edged with brown fur (the fur collar is partly covered by a lace one), and a striped red and brown skirt. Behind her to the left is the back of a crimson armchair; above is a dark red curtain.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (painted)


1842 (painted)


Watts, George Frederic OM, RA, born 1817 - died 1904 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Oil on canvas

Marks and inscriptions

G F Watts
inscribed on back


Height: 36.125 in estimate, Width: 27.875 in estimate, :

Object history note

Bequeathed by Constantine Alexander Ionides, 1900. However, it was stipulated in the will that this, along with 19 other family portraits, should stay in the family until the death of his wife - she died in 1920 when the paintings were received by the museum.

Descriptive line

Oil painting on canvas, 'Mary Ionides, wife of Constantine Ionides', George Frederick Watts, 1842


Oil paint; Canvas


Oil painting


Paintings; Portraits


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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