John William Waterhouse

Born in Rome on 6 April 1849, the son of artists it was almost inevitable that the young Waterhouse would become one himself and so it was completing both his studies at the Royal Academy of Arts and exhibiting his works while still in his early twenties.

Associated with rather than a member of the pre-Raphaelite movement he adopted their themes more than he did their style preferring figures from Ancient Roman mythology to those of Arthurian Legend. Even so, his most famous and arguably most popular work remains his Lady of Shalott, one of a trio of paintings inspired by the Tennyson poem of the same name which tells the story of Elaine of Astolat, maiden of Camelot condemned to view life through a mirror who was cursed to die for looking into the face of Sir Lancelot:

And down the river’s dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance
With glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.

THE LADY OF SHALOTT

THE LADY OF SHALOTT LOOKING AT LANCELOT

I AM HALF-SICK OF SHADOWS SAID THE LADY OF SHALOTT

OPHELIA

GATHER YE ROSEBUDS WHILE YE MAY

GATHER YE ROSEBUDS WHILE YE MAY

MIRANDA – THE TEMPEST

PANDORA

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

CLEOPATRA

ISABELLA AND THE POT OF BASIL

TRISTAN AND ISOLDE

CIRCE OFFERING THE CUP TO ULYSSES

DESTINY

GOOD NEIGHBOURS

HONORIUS AND HIS FAVOURITES

THE SORCERESS

THE SOUL OF THE ROSE

 

 

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