Sunday, January 18, 2009

NINO




From jwwaterhouse.com


John William Waterhouse was born in Rome to the painters William and Isabela Waterhouse, but when he was five the family moved to South Kensington, near the newly founded Victoria and Albert Museum. He studied painting under his father before entering the Royal Academy schools in 1870. His early works were of classical themes in the spirit of Alma-Tadema and Frederic Leighton, and were exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Society of British Artists and the Dudley Gallery. In 1874, at the age of twenty-five, Waterhouse submitted the classical allegory Sleep and His Half-Brother Death to the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition. The painting was very well received and he exhibited at the RA almost every year afterwards until his death in 1917.
(From From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


Sleep and his Half-brother Death", 1874
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Although often classified as a Pre-raphaelite for his style and themes, Waterhouse is truly a Neo-Classic painter. Some of Waterhouse's earlier works were focused on Italian themes and scenery, reflecting his love for his birth place. Later on, his works picked up the styles and classical themes of Pre-raphaelites such as Alma-Tadema and Frederick Leighton. Waterhouse went on to paint well over 200 paintings depicting classical mythogolgy, historical and literary subjects, particularly those of Roman mythology and classic English poets such as Keats and Tennyson. Femme fatale is a common theme in his works, as most are of beautiful elegaic women and of many men are victims.
(From jwwaterhouse.co)
Early in his career Waterhouse established his style. It changed little, but he continually refined it, and his beautiful ladies were recognisable flesh and blood, with superb skin tones. He also painted a few excellent portraits of women, some of them being of the members of the Henderson family of Lord Faringdon, of Buscot Park fame. A lot of the pictures spent many years on the walls of prosperous Home Counties families, but the problems of Lloyds of London have, in many cases, forced their sale, just as their real value, and the artistic worth of Waterhouse's achievement has come to be realised. He continued to do the same thing throughout his career, but he did it so well, who are we to complain?
(From ARC)



Mariamne Leaving the Judgement Seat of Herod
Oil on canvas, 1887
101 7/8 x 70 3/4 inches (259 x 180 cm)
Forbes Magazine Collection, New York
This image is courtesy of the Art Renewal Center


This image is one of Waterhouse’s most dramatic paintings. Mariamne was considered to be the favorite of King Herod’s ten wives. He supposedly loved her quite dearly, but let false rumours of gross unfaithfulness brought to him by her sister, Salome, hold sway with him. Herod put Mariamne on trial for the crime, and with great despair sentenced her to be executed. (Xenohistorian, Publicbookshelf,) Mariamne is depicted arms bound and fists clenched staring at her husband, Herod, with a look of hurt disbelief. King Herod, unable to bring himself to look at her drops his head to avoid her gaze. Behind her in a semi-circle sits some of the elders, powerful people in Herod’s kingdom. Her dress is white symbolizing her purity and innocence of the crime. Peter Trippi, world expert on Waterhouse, in his catalogue résumé quoted playwright George Bernard Shaw as noting that Mariamne’s descending the stair brings her forward and makes her prominent in the painting, but the stairs turn and lead down under a dark archway, symbolizing her fate. Mariamne Leaving the Judgment Seat of Herod was apart of the famous Forbes collection for over 30 years. It was sold in London over the spring of 2003.



The Lady of Shallot
Based on The Lady of Shalott by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Oil on canvas, 1888
60 1/8 x 78 5/8 inches (153 x 200 cm)
Tate Gallery, London
From From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The legend of the Lady of Shalott supposedly takes place during the time of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. The lady is imprisoned in a small castle by a fairy who tells her that if she looks upon Camelot a curse will come upon her, but she does not know what the curse is. In the castle the Lady of Shalott has a mirror in which she can see shadows of what is happening in Camelot. She enjoys weaving the images she sees on a magical loom. One day she sees the knight Lancelot through the mirror and falls madly in love with him. She decides to leave Shalott and take the chance that she will be able to gaze upon his face and enter Camelot. As soon as she steps out of the castle the mirror cracks and she knows the curse has fallen upon her. She runs down to the water, boards a small boat, and heads off towards Camelot, but sadly she dies just before reaching it. Her dead body is found in the boat which floats to Camelot’s shore, her name written around its prow. The Lady of Shalott is said to foreshadow the downfall of Camelot. Just as Sir Lancelot was the Lady of Shalott’s destruction, his affair with Queen Guinevere leads to the destruction of Camelot.
Waterhouse fully captured the Lady in her crazed, frantic state, desperately trying to reach Camelot, dying as she goes. On the front of the boat surrounded by candles lies a cross, with the image of Jesus nailed to it, symbolizing her willingness to sacrifice her life for love. The tapestry she is sitting on is one she wove on her loom, depicting scenes of Camelot. The two images on the tapestry that can be seen are the Lady of Shalott herself riding toward Camelot in the boat, and sir Lancelot on a horse surrounded by other knights. Waterhouse depicted other images from the legend one in 1894, also entitled The Lady of Shalott, and another one in 1915 entitled “I’m half sick of shadows”, whose title was quoted from Tennyson’s poem “The Lady of Shalott”.



Diogenes
Oil on canvas, 1882
81 7/8 x 53 1/8 inches (208 x 135 cm)
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
This image is courtesy of the Art Renewal Center


The Favourites of the Emperor Honorious
Oil on canvas, 1883
46 x 79 1/2 inches (117 x 202 cm)
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
This image is courtesy of the Art Renewal Center



In the Peristyle
Oil on canvas, 1874
26 3/8 x 20 3/8 inches (67 x 52 cm)
Rochdale Art Gallery
This image is courtesy of the Art Renewal Center



Miss Betty Pollock
Oil on canvas, 1911
36 x 28 1/4 inches (91.5 x 72 cm)
Private collection
This image is courtesy of the Art Renewal Center



Study For Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May
Red chalk and pencil
13 3/4 x 11 3/8 inches (35 x 29 cm)
Private collection
This image is courtesy of the Art Renewal Center


Ophelia
1894
From From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Waterhouse could not finish the series of Ophelia paintings because he was gravely ill with cancer by 1915. He died two years later, and his grave can be found at Kensal Green Cemetery in London.


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