Sunday, September 20, 2009

Women of John William Waterhouse

I have been looking online at the work of one of my favorite artists, John William Waterhouse. His paintings take me to wonderful and often mythical places. You are probably familiar with many of his works, " The Lady of Shalott" being one of his most famous.


The Lady of Shalott - The detail in this painting is incredible from her rich tapestry, long flowing hair and the bull rushes nearby. Extraordinary!

Mr. Waterhouse's work is breathtaking in its execution, detail and his passion for the feminine form. Waterhouse was born in the city of Rome to British painters in 1849.

The Sorceress


The Crystal Ball and Skull


Ophelia - Another of Waterhouse's favorite subjects; the most famous of his paintings of Ophelia depicts her just before her death, putting flowers in her hair as she sits on a tree branch leaning over a lake.

Ophelia with Flowers

Mirana in the South

Miranda - What is this lovely woman thinking as she looks out across the sea? A sailor she waits for, contemplating her life, or just enjoying the sounds from the crashing waves. When I look at this painting I know this woman's spirit.

Miranda The Tempest - another favorite of mine, this women looks like she could tame the oncoming storm.

Of course, my favorite painting by Waterhouse is "A Mermaid." In order to receive his diploma from the Royal Academy, he had to submit a painting. He submitted his Ophelia painting of 1888 but had originally wanted to submit a painting titled "A Mermaid", but it was not completed in time. After this, the painting was lost until the 20th century, and is now displayed in the collection of Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber (Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar fame among many others).

A Mermaid.

Very little is known of Waterhouse's private life - only a few letters have survived and thus, for many years, the identity of his models has been a mystery. Waterhouse passed away in 1917 after a long bout with cancer.

9 comments:

Kathleen said...

I love the paintings of Waterhouse. I loved them before I knew who he was. They are just exquisite. I would have a hard time choosing a favorite. Thanks for your post! Hugs, Kathleen

Jacque said...

No, I haven't ever heard of Waterhouse..shame on me! But, I do love his paintings. I'm thinking he loved the female body and sure seems he had a knack for pulling the emotion from their faces. I especially like Miranda the Tempest--I believe that she has the power to calm that storm!

Thanks for sharing that info with use! I thought it was very good.

littlebyrd said...

I love the Ophelia ones. I was not familiar with him until just now...thanks for sharing :)

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I've always admired Waterhouse's paintings. They are so expressive and detailed. The Lady of Shalott is my favorite.

svelteSTUFF said...

Waterhouse is new to me, but I think I'm in love...

paperbird said...

I love this art. I was not aware of Waterhouse but I am happy that you made us aware of his beautiful art. I think my daughter-inlaw would love adore it.

Terri's ThreadArt said...

I forgot to add on my other comment ~ I enjoyed hearing about Mr Lamponi!

Terri's ThreadArt said...

opps ~ I don't think my comment went through!
I just wanted you to know HOW MUCH I enjoyed the breathtaking art you displayed on your blog!

Christine Edwards said...

I love Waterhouse's paintings, such exquisite detail. The Mermaid is definitely one of my favorites.