The Lady of Shalott – John William Waterhouse – Pre-Raphaelite Romantic Art Period




From the painting by John William Waterhouse based upon the poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson. It has also been described in song by Loreena McKennitt adaptation of the poem.

During the Pre-Raphaelite period John William Waterhouse did his most famous painting based on the famous love poem. In millions of homes around the world women have a distinguished place for The Lady of Shallot. Much of John William Waterhouse's other works also have a fond place the heart of many a romantically inclined young lady, provoking images of yesteryear, when knights were bold and ladies silk silks and petticoats. The legend of Camelot and of King Arthurs knights has inspired romance through the centuries. The Pre-Raphaelite period is also known as the romantic period of art, bearing fruit to a large number of artists from that school, and none better known than our subject.

The young model that features in The Lady of Shalott also appears as the main character in many of John William Waterhouse's other paintings including the sequel, "I am half sick of shadows" said the Lady of Shalott. The Pre-Raphaelites being from around the time of Alfred Lord Tennyson, did do a number of paintings based around this very theme of melancholy love. Mind you not much has changed over the years, as painters, musicians, story writers, movie makers, and poets who have been able to capture the mood of melancholy love invariably become popular in their own right. Romantic love is part of our culture and not much is going to change that, which will please a lot of people, especially women.