This portrait depicts Edward Grey, first Viscount Grey of Falloden, who served as British Foreign Secretary from 1905 to 1916. He is shown here wearing his Garter robes.
The portrait was exhibited at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in London, in 1919, and at the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, in 1935. In January 1952 it was presented to the then Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden (1897-1977; later Prime Minister) by Christopher Grey Tennant, second Baron Glenconner (1899-1983), for display in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
George Fiddes Watt, portrait painter, was born in Aberdeen, the son of a carpenter who specialised in the construction of ships. Watts left school at 14 to take up an apprenticeship with a firm of lithographic printers. From the age of 21 he studied life-drawing at the Royal Scottish Academy and later received commissions for portraits, mainly of local dignitaries. He married art teacher Jean Wilcox in 1903 and had three sons and a daughter. In 1910, he took a studio in London and began to exhibit at the Royal Academy and the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. When the bombing of London was particularly heavy in 1940 he moved to Cults, near Aberdeen. He died in Aberdeen at the age of 87.
Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Grey of Falloden (1862-1933) Foreign Secretary
Oil on canvas
height: 236.00 cm, width: 144.00 cm
Presented by Lord Glenconner, January 1952
Collection of Christopher Grey Tennant, 2nd Baron Glenconner (1899-1983); by whom presented to Prime Minister (Robert) Anthony Eden, first Earl of Avon (1897-1977), then Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, for display in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in January 1952
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