Tennyson's literature was popular with the Pre-Raphaelites, and is the subject of 'The Lady of Shalott'. The Lady drifts in her candle-lit boat downstream thinking of Camelot, amongst a beautiful natural scene. The setting is not identified, although the Waterhouses frequently visited Somerset and Devon. The model is traditionally said to be the artist's wife.
John William Waterhouse
Lady of Shalott
153 x 200 cm
Oil on canvas
Date of work
Original: Oil on canvas 153 x 200 cm ® Tate, London
English painter John William Waterhouse entered the Royal Academy Schools in London in 1870. He regularly travelled abroad, particularly to Italy. Waterhouse created a distinctive type of female beauty which dominates his work. Waterhouse is the best known of the artists who from the 1880s revived the literary themes popularised by the Pre-Raphaelites, though he was not Pre-Raphaelite in technique. Other influences include the Newlyn School, literature and Greek mythology.