Description of the painting by John William Waterhouse “Lady of the Shallot”

Description of the painting by John William Waterhouse “Lady of the Shallot”

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The famous painting "Lady of the Shallot" - the work of J.U. Waterhouse, a master of painting from England. Waterhouse dedicated this masterpiece of art to the girl Elaine. This Lily of the Virgin is the heroine of the legends of King Arthur, who sincerely loved Lancelot and died of unrequited love. The theme of the fatal women who were left by beloved men always worried Waterhouse.

The artist very accurately depicted the drama of the plot, demonstrating his mastery of the technique of painting. And his popularity expanded thanks to charming sitters. By the way, there is an opinion that his wife posed for the brush master when writing this picture.

The true masterpiece of art “The Lady of Shalott” is the first of the artist’s works written on the motives of Tennyson’s poem. The picture tells the tragic story of a damned young girl. This maiden, enclosed in a tower, must continuously weave a long cloth. The action takes place on the island of Shallot.

Nobody knows about the existence of Elaine, but the girl herself is strictly forbidden to leave the tower, even one cannot look out the window. All the beauty of the world is reflected for her only in a huge mirror that hangs on the wall. But once, after seeing his beloved Lancelot, Elaine leaves the walls of the tower. At this moment, a curse is in effect: the canvas blooms, cracks appear on the mirror.

Realizing that he had acted rashly, Elaine runs to the river, where she finds a boat and writes her name on it. In the picture of Waterhouse, we already see the moment when the girl swims with a water surface and sings a sad song. The artist filled the picture with his meaning, reflecting the views of mankind during the Victorian era.

The lady from the shallot is depicted by the artist with a very masterful brush. The girl has already crouched in the boat, in her hands is a chain holding the boat to the shore. A woven tapestry - a matter of her life - hangs from a boat into the water. Details depicted by the artist, such as candles and a crucifix, give the boat the appearance of a funerary boat. Indeed, in those days, a burning candle was a symbol of life, and on the canvas two of them went out. Elaine herself looks sadly at them, being alone.

The artist makes it clear that the girl’s life is about to break off. A parted mouth indicates that Elaine is singing a swan song.

In depicting the landscape, Waterhouse departs from the traditions of Pre-Raphaelism. He does not paint nature in detail, but gives a landscape description of negligence.

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Watch the video: The Mysterious Models of John William Waterhouse - Part I (January 2023).