梁先生提到 Watts的《希望》，这幅画是Obama 的最爱.
It is Barack Obama's favourite painting: this famous canvas by the visionary Victorian artist George Frederic Watts arguably set the President-Elect on his long path to the White House.
In 1990, Obama was captivated by a sermon delivered by the Rev Jeremiah Wright, his controversial former pastor. The focus of the sermon was Hope, Watts's melancholy painting of a hunched and blindfolded girl who sits atop a globe and tentatively plucks at a single string on her crude wooden lyre.
At first glance, it is hardly the most comforting of images, with its pea-soup greens and murky greys; indeed, GK Chesterton quipped that Watts might more accurately have called his painting "Despair". Watts actually painted two versions of Hope: one hangs in Tate Britain; the other, from a private collection, went on show at London's Guildhall Art Gallery this week, as part of a substantial exhibition of Watts's work.
But the painting's message of faith in the face of adversity fascinated Wright. "The harpist is sitting there in rags," he preached. "Her clothes are tattered as though she had been a victim of Hiroshima… [yet] the woman had the audacity to hope."
The phrase stuck irrevocably in Obama's mind. He adapted it as the title of his rousing address to the Democratic Convention in 2004. In 2006, he used it again, as the title of his second book.
Obama is not the only black leader to have been inspired by Hope: Nelson Mandela kept a reproduction on his wall while he was imprisoned on Robben Island. Nor is Hope the only painting by Watts to have caught the eye of an American president.
Watts gifted his allegorical painting Love and Life to the American people. It was eventually installed in the White House on the orders of President Roosevelt.
When he died in 1904, Watts was one of the foremost artists in the land, lionised as "England's Michelangelo". Since then, his reputation has slumped. His monumental canvases, with their mawkish allegorical messages, have fallen out of favour.
The link to America's electrifying president-elect might just help to rehabilitate his reputation.