Friday, September 7, 2007
Some Artwork: Lady of Shalott
The Lady of Shalott (1888) by John William Waterhouse
"This is the first version of the Lady of Shalott painted by Waterhouse. This is the most Pre-Raphaelite of his paintings, set out in the open air with a typically English landscape illuminated by natural early evening light and with close attention to the autumn leaves, the reed choked river's edge and medieval details.
This lady is far younger than the Edwardian woman of his later painting. She is no more than a girl with the wistful, tragic quality of so many of Waterhouse's dreamy heroines. The scene shows the doomed Lady of Shalott setting off on her final voyage along the river to Camelot. The tapestry she has spent her life creating, trails behind her in the water and there is a lantern, candles and a crucifix on the prow of the boat, like a small alter. She looks very innocent in her white dress and loose hair, very definitely the cursed princess. The atmosphere is dreamy and magical, thanks to the mist on the water, the darkness of the forest and the approaching dusk, like a scene from a fairytale."
Painted in 1896, the original is in London's Tate Gallery.
The top picture of her going over a waterfall is photo-shopped...is that a word?...by some talented computer person that I found on www.worth1000.com.
I have this in my bathroom, big and framed. She's over my bathtub so when I soak I can look right at her. I love Waterhouse and the Victorian artists. Sir Leighton is another favorite, perhaps I will post some of his later. I love what he does with the female form. I love our curviness. Emmy and I were speaking about this the other day...how Clarkie can feel the difference between her and his Dad and perhaps even women and men generally and we speculated that perhaps it was due to the softness and the curves and the way we kind of absorb infants into our arms and breasts and hold them "within us" as opposed to "on us". Any thoughts?