Standing Female Nude, 'Aurora'
Aurora was the personification of the dawn and the twin of Helios, who represented the actual sun. Watts painted a version of Aurora before he travelled to Italy in 1843. The pose of Aurora in that painting is he basis for this statue, made in the 1860s or 1870s. The over-lifesize statue of a nude woman was never exhibited in Watts's lifetime. He was unsatisfied with it and he destroyed another version of the same subject. According to Mary Watts, he was attempting 'something far more archaic, straight and flat in line like a ray of sunlight.' He was not trying to make a life-like statue of a real person, but something that was more impressive than a 'merely big woman', like the lost sculpture of Athena by Pheidias.