Hope is one of the three religious virtues of Christian belief, alongside Faith and Charity. In a letter of 1885, Watts described the composition as, ‘Hope sitting on a globe with bandaged eyes playing on a lyre which has all the strings broken but one out of which poor little tinkle she is trying to get all the music possible, listening with all her might to the little sound’. This is perhaps Watts’s most famous image. It exemplifies the kind of allegorical subjects he painted that dealt with the fundamental issues of human existence. Watts gave this painting to his friend, the artist Frederick Leighton.