John William Waterhouse, The Lady of Shalott

Tate Gallery, London

Date: 1888
Technique: Oil on canvas, 1530 x 2000 mm

This painting illustrates Alfred Tennyson’s poem The Lady of Shalott. Draped over the boat is the fabric the lady wove in a tower near Camelot. But she brought a curse on herself by looking directly at Sir Lancelot.With her right hand she lets go of the chain mooring the boat. Her mouth is slightly open, as she sings ‘her last song’. She stares at a crucifix lying in front of her. Beside it are three candles, often used to symbolise life. Two have blown out. This suggests her life will end soon, as she floats down the river.


1 comment:

  1. This painting is one of my favorites. It makes me feel so sad, specially due to her face expression and the poem. I also recently bought a huge 1500 pieces puzzle of it and I have discovered a lot of beautiful details. Waterhouse was such a genius.


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