Diana and Endymion

Sir Frank Short (British, Stourbridge, West Midlands 1857–1945 Ditchling, East Sussex)
After George Frederic Watts (British, London 1817–1904 London)
Robert Dunthorne (British, born ca. 1851)
December 1, 1891
Etching and mezzotint, printed in brown ink
Plate: 18 × 22 3/16 in. (45.7 × 56.3 cm)
Sheet: 21 1/8 × 25 1/8 in. (53.7 × 63.8 cm)
Credit Line:
The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1959
Accession Number:
Not on view
Despite her sworn chastity, the moon goddess Diana fell in love with the beautiful shepherd Endymion and watched over him while he slept. This mezzotint shows the couple kissing and is based on a painting by Watts of 1869 (private collection). As part of a forward-looking cultural circle centered at Little Holland House in Kensington, the artist sympathized with the Pre-Raphaelites’ reforming agenda but disapproved of their zealous medievalism. This print vivifies its mythic subject by contrasting Diana’s urgent pose with Endymion’s languid form. Short used a rocker to produce the darks and a burnisher for the lights, translating the composition into a rich monochrome. Created two decades after the painting, the masterful print indicates Watts’s long-lived reputation.
Inscription: in graphite lower left: "G. F. Watts"; lower right: "Frank Short"
in plate, below the image: "London Published Decr. 1st,, 1891, by Robert Dunthorne, at The Rembrandt Head in Vigo Street, W'
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," April 29, 2014–July 14, 2014.

Strange 138; Hardie 60
Edward F. Strange Etched and Engraved Work of Frank Short, A.R.A., R.E.. 1908, cat. no. 138, p. 36.

Rowland Alston The Mind and Work of G. F. Watts, with Introduction and Special Reference to the Watts Gallery, Compton, Guilford. 1929, no. 16, pl. V (Endymion, 48 x 91 in., painting, 1903-1904); earlier and smaller 1869 version mentioned as the version engraved by Frank Short.

Martin Hardie Hardie, Martin, The Etched and Engraved work of Sir Frank Short. 3 vols., London, 1938, cat. no. 60.

Mark Bills, Barbara Bryant G. F. Watts Victorian Visionary: Highlights from the Watts Gallery Collection. London, New Haven, Compton, 2008, A 1903-4 version of Watts's painting of this subject; also illustrates ca. 1872 version in private collection, cat. no. 81, pp. 276-79, ill.