John William Waterhouse (1849-1917)
Pre-Raphaelite painter John William Waterhouse painted female characters from mythology and literature and belonged to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. His parents were painters and he grew up in Rome where he absorbed the culture, rich history and a love for art. Waterhouse's first art teacher was his father until he entered the Royal Academy at age 21.
Waterhouse was inspired by the paintings of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, whose depictions of classical, Roman landscapes and legends appealed to the young painter. He received his diploma from the Academy for his painting of A Mermaid. Waterhouse's paintings often depict a romantic approach to the femme fatale, for example in La Belle Sans Merci and Hylas and the Water Nymphs. He also often painted a forlorn, sole heroine, such as The Lady of Shallot, one of Waterhouse's most famous paintings. Waterhouse's academic and technical skill gained the respect of his peers and critics and his paintings were exhibited at the Academy even after his death in 1917.
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