Tag Archives: Waterhouse

Pre-Raphaelite paintings of The Lady of Shalott

On Saturday the first of the Reading Art talks took place at BMAG, given by Maria Cohut, a doctoral candidate at the University of Warwick. I can’t possibly do justice to Maria’s talk in a blog post, but she explored the poem and the paintings which it inspired in a way which really encouraged me to think about the interpretative gap between poetry and paintings – something that Tennyson himself was well aware of, in his criticisms of the illustrations for the Moxon Tennyson, which he often felt weren’t sufficiently close to the details of the poem. For Tennyson, poetry was the defining art, then (as well as the first chronologically) and thus images inspired by it should be faithful to it. But for the painters inspired by the poem, their art was inextricably linked to that of the poet, but nonetheless separate; their own interpretation was significant to them. Maria’s readings of the poem and paintings bridged this interpretative gap creatively – and made me think about the Lady’s hair in a whole new light! Below are some of the images she discussed – some more familiar than others.

Waterhouse The Lady of Shalott
John William Waterhouse, The Lady of Shalott, 1888 (Tate Britain)
Half sick of shadows
John William Waterhouse, ‘I Am Half-Sick of Shadows’ said the Lady of Shalott, 1915 (Art Gallery of Ontario)

 

waterhouse_the_lady_of_shalott01
John William Waterhouse, The Lady of Shalott Looking at Lancelot 1894 (Leeds Art Gallery)
Holman Hunt
William Holman Hunt, The Lady of Shalott, 1905 (Wadsworth Atheneum)
siddal3
Elizabeth Siddal, The Lady of Shalott at her Loom (n.d.), Jeremy Maas Gallery
Darvall, Henry, active 1848-1889; The Lady of Shalott
Henry Darvall, The Lady of Shalott, 1848-51 (Wolverhampton Arts and Heritage)
i_am_half-sick_of_shadows,_said_the_lady_of_shalott-large
Sidney Meteyard, I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, 1913 (private collection)
Egley
William Maw Egley, The Lady of Shalott, 1858 (Museums Sheffield)
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