British Art

John William Waterhouse  


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'The Lady of Shalott' 

The Lady of Shallot

J. H. Waterhouse was a prolific painter in the pre-raphaelite style (other artists associated with this style include: Millais, Rossetti and Burne-Jones). This painting is based on Arthurian legend and the poem of the same name by the nineteenth century English poet Lord Tennyson. The Lady of Shalott was supposed to have dwelt in a tower, alone and unseen, on an island in the river that flowed down to King Arthur's Camelot. An excerpt from the poem can be found below:

'... And down the river's dim expanse

Like some bold seer in a trance,

Seeing all his own mischance -

With a 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 away,

The Lady of Shalott.' by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)


More paintings by the same artist



St. Cecilia

Cecilia lived around 230 AD. She is famous for taking a lifelong vow of chastity which she kept despite her enforced marriage. She converted her husband to Christianity and both suffered martyrdom. In medieval times, a misreading of her Acts led to her connection with church music and when the Academy of Music was established at Rome in 1584, she was adopted as its patroness. Her saint's day is celebrated on 22 November.


John Waterhouse - Pre-Raphaelite Artist