JOHN WILLIAM WATERHOUSE

Born in Rome, Italy in 1849, Waterhouse s early work was influenced by Alma-Tadema, and he later became an associate of the Pre-Raphaelites, although his work differed widely from that of the original Brotherhood in its lack of moral seriousness. In particular he devoted his time to classical subjects and the femmes fatales of literature. His paintings were mainly of women: men were usually depicted as victims, as in Hylas and the Nymphs . The Lady of Shalott was one of his first successes, capturing a romantic, dreamy mood in a highly naturalistic setting. The Danaides , in Greek Mythology, were commanded to murder their husbands on their wedding night. All but one obeyed and they were punished by having to draw water from a well and pour it into a vessel from which it continually escaped. Penelope and her Suitors , commissioned by the Aberdeen Art Gallery, was an expensive and controversial purchase. This great Victorian romantic painter, a quiet and modest man, successfully pulled together the opposing late Victorian Subjects of the Pre-Raphaelites and Classicism. He died in London 1917.