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Nymphs and Satyr, by William Bouguereau (Detail)
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John William
Waterhouse
English painter & draftsman
born 1849- died February 10 1917

Born in: Rome (Lazio, Italy)
Died in: St John's Wood (London, Greater London, England)

Also known as:
Nino, J.W. Waterhouse

Nationality:
English

Associate member of:
The Royal Academy of Art

Full member of:
The Royal Academy of Art

Portrait of Phyllis Waterlo

Oil on canvas
101.6 x 167.64 cm
(40" x 66")
Collection of Fred and Sherry Ross (United States)

Added: 2002-03-09
Circe offering the Cup to Ulysses

1891
Oil on canvas
149 x 92 cm
(58.66" x 36.22")
Oldham Art Gallery (Oldham, United Kingdom)

Added: 2002-09-15

Waterhouse was inspired by Homer's Odyssey to paint several other masterpieces, one of which is Circe" Offering the Cup to Ulysses. Circe" was a beautiful sorceress who turned mortals into animals by giving them a wine filled with an evil potion. Circe" used such a potion on Ulysses' crew turning them into pigs while Ulysses AKA (Odysseus) was taking care of another matter. Ulysses learned of this and was able to attain a medicine from Hermes to prevent Circe"'s potions from having an effect on him. He went to Circe", who had him drink the potion to turn him into a pig as well, when it did not work Ulysses drew his sword and threatened Circe" who, in disbelief, begged him to forgive her.
        Waterhouse portrays Circe", cup in one hand, wand in the other, surrounded by purple flowers, the color of royalty, offering the potion to Ulysses. She thinks herself a queen. She sits on a golden throne, roaring lions depicted on each arm. By her side lies a pig, perhaps one of Ulysses' men. There are other animals portrayed in the painting depicting other mortals who fell into Circe"'s grasp, including a toad in the foreground and a duck which can be seen reflected in the left side of the mirror behind her. Also in the mirror, Ulysses himself can be seen fists clenched, ready to attack.

-- Kara Ross

Further references:
  • An electronic text (etext) version of Homer's The Odyssey.

Study for The Lady Clare

Red chalk
Private collection

Brian Yoder's GoodArt Gallery
Added: 2003-06-22
Gather Ye Rosebuds while ye may

1908
Oil on canvas
61.6 x 45.7 cm
(24¼" x 17.99")
Private collection

Added: 2003-07-16

A young woman stands holding a bowl stretched out to the viewer filled with roses. Her head is elevated slightly and her eyes peer out through a window which can be seen reflected in a mirror behind her. Two purple flowers can also be seen reflected in the mirror, one wilting and one standing tall and strait. This painting acknowledges the passing of time and how quickly life vanishes. The title Gather Ye Rosebuds while Ye May reveals the true meaning in this painting. One must gather rosebuds because they bloom and wilt quickly just as the beauty of the girl will quickly fade to dust and she will no longer be able to pick them. This meaning is even more poignant when one realizes that the painting was painted 95 years ago and both the artist and the girl depicted are dead. Waterhouse painted another painting with the same theme also entitled Gather Ye Rosebuds while Ye May where two women are picking roses out in a garden.
-- Kara Ross

Flora

c1890
Oil on canvas
73 x 33 cm
(28.74" x 12.99")
Private collection

Added: 2005-04-09
Flora
A Mermaid

1901
Oil on canvas
98 x 67 cm
(38.58" x 26.38")
The Royal Academy of Arts (London, United Kingdom)

Added: 2001-09-26
Pandora

1896
Oil on canvas
152 x 91 cm
(59.84" x 35.83")
Private collection

Added: 2001-09-26
At the Shrine

1895
Oil on canvas
88 x 42 cm
(34.65" x 16.54")
Private collection

Added: 2001-09-26
Crystal Ball

1902
Oil on canvas
Private collection

Added: 2001-09-26
I am Half sick of Shadows said the Lady of Shalott

1915
Oil on canvas
100 x 74 cm
(39.37" x 29.13")
Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

Added: 2001-09-26