Artist profile: John William Waterhouse – 1910s

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

John William Waterhouse died of cancer in 1917. He finished over thirty paintings in the 1910s. In the years after his death, his paintings have remained popular and fetch high prices at auction.
Miranda (1916)
You’ll recall his much calmer, and more boring, version from 1874. This one is way cooler, from Miranda’s hair and clothes to the churning waves and the wrecked ship.
The Decameron (1916)
The Decameron is a collection of stories from the 1350s. The premise of the book is that ten young Florentine women and men go to the country to escape the Plague and tell each other stories to pass the time. I hear it’s fascinating – it demonstrates an early positive emphasis on the “urban” values of “quick wit, sophistication, and intelligence”.
I am half-sick of shadows, said the Lady of Shalott (1916)
Another Lady of Shalott painting. I think the one from 1888 is the best, but this one is technically very good. It features the same kind of window from The Missal (1902) and lots of weaving-related details.
Ophelia (1910)
My favorite Ophelia. Her dress is fantastic, with all those nervous wrinkles, and her expression fits so well with the character.

Other parts in the John William Waterhouse artist profile series



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