This large bronze statue of a nude woman was Watts's first successful sculpture in the round and the only one exhibited during his lifeime. Watts had a life-long interest in Greek and Roman mythology, especially those stories where people changed from one form of life to another, often human to plant or animal. Here Clytie, a sea-nymph, is violently transforming as we watch. She was in love with the sun-god who did not love her back. She sat on the ground watching the sun from morning to night for nine days, slowly sinking into the ground until she became a heliotrope. This small purple flower moves to follow the sun from east to west. Clytie is shown erupting out of leaves, violently twisting her strong body towards the sun as she transforms. Watts may have been inspired by Michelangelo's muscular, contorted bodies on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.