The Good Samaritan
Watts, George Frederick
Europe, United Kingdom, England
254.7 x 189.2 cm
The Good Samaritan 1850
George Frederick Watts 1817-1904
Oil on canvas
This Biblical subject is from Luke's Gospel.
Thieves attack a Jewish traveller
and leave him injured by the side of the road.
He is ignored by two passing Jews
before a Samaritan comes to his aid.
Here the Samaritan helps the victim to his feet.
Watts presented the work to the people of Manchester
in admiration of Thomas Wright, a local worker,
whose life was devoted to caring for prisoners.
The painting hung in the old Town Hall on King Street,
where it stood as an example to Mancunians.
For Watts, art retained a high moral purpose.
This is communicated through his heroic painting style
which is based on the art of Italian old masters.
He particularly admired Michelangelo (1475-1564),
whose work he studied in Italy between 1843-1847.
Transferred from the Royal Manchester Institution 1882.149