The English artist John William Waterhouse was born in Rome. He often painted genre scenes from ancient history and classical mythology. His work combined a Victorian subject-themed style and the dreaminess of the Pre-Raphaelites.
Greek Femme Fatales
Studying his canvases we notice that all his art appeals not just to mythology, but to the tragic or imperious women. It was the difficult fate of the characters of various legends that made the artist tear out vivid images from the creative subconscious.
Looking through the paintings of this remarkable painter we can recognize the same model on them. Only recently the critics managed to identify her personality. The favorite model of the artist was Miss Muriel Foster.
She is also on such canvases as Miranda, Tristan and Isolde with a love elixir, Psyche entering the Amur garden and others. John Waterhouse has exhibited a lot both in England and far beyond its borders.
Waterhouse showed a keen interest in Greek mythology in his early work. The young artist admired the work of the Dutch painter Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Later he honed his style and we can find a lot of pictorial mysticism in his works. These features became characteristic of the works of Waterhouse.
The artist chose an excerpt from Homer’s famous book, The Odyssey, for his work. In it, the poet describes how the ship the Strait of Messina passes where marine sirens live. Ulysses remembers Scylla’s warning about the insidiousness of sea beauties. He orders the sailors to tie him firmly to the mast of the ship. He ordered the crew not to untie him in any way, even if he would force them. Ulysses also took precautions for sailors. All of them filled their ears with wax so as not to hear the seductive songs of winged sorceresses.
This painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy and was enthusiastically received by British critics.
Gilas and Sirens
Waterhouse`s paintings have a special feature. He often draws female beauty, inspired by an increased interest in the world of sorceresses and witches. To create female images, he chose models with pale skin, reddish-golden hair and a wistful look. In his picture, the nymphs surrounded Gilas, one of whom looks sadly at him, drawing him into the depths of the lake.
This painting was presented at the Manchester Art Gallery. After some time, the museum and its store decided to finish the exposition and not to sell its reproductions any more. However, the audience fell in love with this masterpiece so much that social hysteria began on social networks at that time.
The picture describes the events of the legend. Gilas went for water while the Argo ship was stationed in Misia near Keos Island. But the nymphs of the source, captivated by his beauty, kidnapped the young man. There is another version of this story. It says that Gilas drowned. Hercules searched in vain for Gilas.
John William Waterhouse painted a nude art that was a magnificent and brilliant masterpiece. The name of that masterpiece is “The Siren”. It is created in the Pre-Raphaelite style. This is a siren artwork with a mythological scene.
Working on the siren painting, the artist imagined an interesting moment. He showed the Sirens myth and spilled his original idea onto the canvas. The idea was a success! The painting depicts the sea maiden Siren and the sailor who survived the shipwreck. She is beautiful, beautiful and charming! Virgo sits naked on a rock, holding a harp in her hands. Her legs covered with green algae. The beautiful woman looks at a man helpless splashing in the water. Her gaze is cold and indifferent.
The picture painted in dark green colors. It symbolizes life and hope for salvation. The artist used bright colors, intriguing chiaroscuros, intermediate tones and shades, contrasts. A wonderful creation filled with mysticism. Everything fanned by secret and understatement. In the artwork, there are elements of fantasy. John Waterhouse talents involved all his imagination to capture this mysterious moment.
Sirens are beautiful and tricky creatures! They used a bewitching voice and songs to attract travelers to their island and then destroy them. The siren has always a negative mythological character. These demonic creatures were predicted to die if one of the travelers walked past their haven and did not succumb to temptation. It was almost impossible to resist them as they hypnotized the sailors with their eyes. Behind them was notoriety. These alluring and deceitful Muses were the harbingers of the misfortunes of mariners.
The craftsman conveyed one of these scenes in the work. Yet what will happen to the sinking sailor stays in the dark. He will be saved or doomed to perdition.
The picture carries interesting, fascinating impressions. It develops imagination, horizons, cognition and stimulates intellectual abilities; contributes to calm thinking.
Art for connoisseurs
His fateful women are always beautiful, sometimes pensive and even ordinary human women. The viewer could fully imagine the danger of the beauties on the siren artwork only by knowing the story associated with the figures depicted. One needs to be a connoisseur of classical mythology in order to fully enjoy the author’s ideas. Explore it more and buy paintings online on 1st-art-gallery.com. Let’s discover art together 😉