Artist profile: John William Waterhouse – 1890s

Every month, I profile an artist who inspires my own art,
in several segments.

Today I present four lovely paintings Mr. Waterhouse made in the 1890s, one of which was stolen!
Circe Invidiosa (1892)
This has always been a favorite of mine. The title means “Circe Poisoning the Sea”. Circe’s expression is intense, the colors are great (this isn’t the best version of the image), and Circe is standing on a big fish!
Ophelia (1894)
Just hanging out on a log, playing with flowers, like you do.
The Lady of Shalott Looking at Lancelot (1894)
It’s possible that this painting provided inspiration for William Holman Hunt‘s stunning painting of the same subject in 1905. Both paintings feature the woman tangled in her own tapestry threads, which is actually not in the poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (which ticked him off).
Danaë (1882)
This painting was stolen from its owner’s house in 1947 and never seen again. It depicts the mortal Danaë with her child Perseus, who had been locked in a box by her father, who feared her child would kill him (which he does). I would love to see this in color, and larger. I really like the protective way Danaë holds Perseus – being locked in a box by your father might make you a bit leery of people.

Other parts in the John William Waterhouse artist profile series



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