In this painting Watts wanted to express the spirit governing the system he called 'the immeasurable expanse'. A heavily-draped figure, enveloped by large wings, gazes deep into a globe or crystal ball held at the centre of the composition. Despite its weighty robes the figure appears to defy gravity as it hovers mysteriously in space. Like Michelangelo's sibyls on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, Watts's figure appears monumental and androgynous, qualities which suggest a higher knowledge of the universe.


  • Title: The All-Pervading
  • Creator: George Frederic Watts
  • Date Created: Around 1887
  • Provenance: Presented by the artist 1899
  • Physical Dimensions: w112 x h2135 mm
  • Original Title: The All-Pervading
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on Canvas

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