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John William Waterhouse

United Kingdom (1849 -  1917 ) Wikipedia® : John William Waterhouse
WATERHOUSE John William Study For Circe Invidiosa

Sotheby's /Jul 14, 2016
10,131.97 - 15,197.95
20,580.63

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Artworks in Arcadja
126

Some works of John William Waterhouse

Extracted between 126 works in the catalog of Arcadja
John William Waterhouse - In The Harem, An Odalisque

John William Waterhouse - In The Harem, An Odalisque

Original
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Lot number: 29
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PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION John William Waterhouse, R.A., R.I. IN THE HAREM, AN ODALISQUE 1849-1917 signed l.r.: JW Waterhouse oil on canvas 46 by 27cm., 18 by 10½in. Provenance Bought in Sweden by a private collector c.1985 Exhibited Probably Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts, 1876, no.135, priced £19 Literature Peter Trippi, J.W. Waterhouse, 2002, p.23 Catalogue Note This rediscovery is a rare example of Waterhouse's early work, full of spontaneous charm and luscious colour. Waterhouse had painted Middle Eastern subjects in the earliest years of his career in the 1870s, including The Slave of 1872 (private collection) and An Unwelcome Companion - A Street Scene in Cairo (Townley Hall Art Gallery and Museum, Burnley). It is likely that the present picture is An Odalisque painted in 1876. The term odalisque derives from the Turkish word for chambermaid or attendant. It is usually used in British and French art to identify an Ottoman harem girl. The inclusion of the potted star-gazer lily and the qabqab (wooden Ottoman stilt shoes) inlaid with mother-of-pearl, adds to the exoticism of the painting. The resemblance of the model in the present picture to the prophetess in Consulting the Oracle of 1884 (Tate), suggests that it is contemporary. The two pictures share an Orientalist setting with pierced woodwork, hanging lamps, Turkish carpets and a striped banquette. Whilst the oracular subject was a large, dramatic and rather macabre picture, the present painting is more light-hearted and more easily understood. The subject of a woman dressing her hair was explored in At Capri of 1889 and prefigured the artist's A Mermaid painted in 1900 (Diploma Collection, Royal Academy of Art). There are two similar pictures by Waterhouse, An Eastern Interior with a Seated Girl dated 1886 (Bonham's, 12 December 2013, lot 63) and An Eastern Reminiscence (private collection) which probably also dates to the early 1880s. We are grateful to Peter Trippi for authenticating this painting. 'Youthful, slender women with pale skin and dark brown or dark red hair are clearly Waterhouse's ideal. The rosy blushes on their cheeks give their pale faces a gentle expression and authenticity.' Elizabeth Prettejohn, Peter Trippi, Robert Upstone and Patty Wageman, J.W. Waterhouse, 2009, p.52
John William Waterhouse - Isabella And The Pot Of Basil

John William Waterhouse - Isabella And The Pot Of Basil

Original 1907
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Lot number: 10
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John William Waterhouse, R.A. (1849-1917) Isabella and the Pot of Basil signed and dated 'J.W. Waterhouse/1907.' (lower right) oil on canvas 41 ¼ x 29 1/8 in. (104.8 x 74 cm.) After decades away from public view, the reappearance of J.W. Waterhouse\’s Isabella and the Pot of Basil is cause for celebration. Though it can be admired solely for its compelling composition, glowing colours, and expressive brushwork, this outstanding example of Waterhouse\’s mature period also offers intriguing thematic and historical insights. Coursing through Waterhouse\’s five decades of picture-making is his fascination with melancholy, magic, and the dangers of love. The story of Isabella and the Pot of Basil is quintessentially Romantic. The Florentine poet Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375) included it in his cycle of 100 tales, Il Decamerone, and it was this to which John Keats (1795–1821) turned for his own poem of 1820, Isabella, or, The Pot of Basil: A Story from Boccaccio. The Florentine maiden Isabella is in love with Lorenzo, who works as a clerk for her two merchant-brothers. They murder the young man and bury him in a forest, but he appears to Isabella in a vision and tells her where to find his corpse. She exhumes his head and hides it in a pot of sweet basil, sustaining the increasingly vigorous plant with her tears, a particularly intimate form of the feminine element of water. Having discovered her secret, the brothers steal away with the pot, so Isabella withers and dies, having lost her beauty and sanity through obsessive grief. Making something beautiful from so melancholy a subject was one of Waterhouse\\\’s intrinsic talents, and as a third-generation Pre-Raphaelite, he had numerous inspirations on which to draw. The first generation\\\’s leaders—William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti—had all treated the theme of Isabella, but most relevant is Hunt\\\’s 1868 painting (Fig. 1, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne), which shows the girl caressing her majolica pot in an opulently decorated chamber. Waterhouse transferred the scene to a Renaissance garden, suggesting the flow of Isabella\\\’s tears through the cascading effect of her long hair, gown, and sleeves, which guide our eye along an L-shaped arc leading from the basil leaves to her hem. Flowers and foliage figure prominently in both Keats\\\’s poem and Waterhouse\\\’s garden; though the latter appears lushly verdant, its aura of decay is symbolized by the ominous skull adorning the pedestal on which Isabella leans. Various details epitomise Waterhouse\\\’s practice in the first decade of the twentieth century; here he revels in the lively patterning of medievalised sleeves, the virtuosic white-on-white brushwork of the loose-fitting over-dress, and the formal yet verdant Renaissance gardens championed by such British landscape designers as Harold Peto. Equally noteworthy is the multi-hued brushwork that enlivens the huge copper planter and also the flickering shadows in the grassy area that connects the staircase to the foreground where Isabella kneels. Waterhouse had already mastered the evocative motif of a kneeling woman in profile with Mariana in the South (Fig. 2, c. 1897, Cecil French Bequest, Hammersmith and Fulham Council, London), based on Tennyson\’s poem about a Renaissance maiden abandoned by her lover. The faces of Mariana and Isabella belong to the same model, on whom Waterhouse relied from the 1890s onward. Here she is depicted with her customary long red hair and pink cheeks, but also with puffy eyes reddened from crying. In 1896, the critic Claude Phillips noted that \‘For a cold pseudo-classicism, which to-day convinces neither the painter nor his public, Mr. J.W. Waterhouse substitutes a romanticism with which his own artistic temperament, as well as that of his [English] race, is thoroughly in accord\’ (Academy 1255, 23 May 1896, p. 432). Because Waterhouse found emotional power in both classical and romantic literature, he celebrated women as wide-ranging as Ovid\’s Circe and Flora, Psyche, Ariadne, Tennyson\’s Mariana and Lady Clare, and Shakespeare\’s Juliet. It makes perfect sense that he also admired the women of Keats. In 1893, he exhibited at the Royal Academy his vision of La Belle Dame Sans Merci (Hessiches Landesmuseum Darmstadt), in which a seemingly fragile girl enchants an armoured knight crouching above her in a darkened wood. Keats resurfaced in 1905, when Waterhouse sent to the Academy his first of two treatments of Lamia. This shows another knight gazing down into the eyes of a red-haired temptress. Isabella appeared two years later, and though she is not a femme fatale like her two predecessors, she is not entirely to be pitied. The art journalist Rose E.D. Sketchley\’s carefully worded monograph on Waterhouse (1909) points to his agenda: Full comprehension of his pictures, she argued, was reserved \‘for those alone who can feel the action of the spirit through the shape and course of Greek myth and mediaeval romance\’ (R.E.D. Sketchley, \‘The Art of J.W. Waterhouse, R.A.\’, The Art Journal [Christmas Number], December 1909, p. 18.). Sketchley marked Waterhouse as a Romantic visionary by arguing that his mythic pictures correspond directly with elements in the tapestry of Greek myth\’s most famous weaver, Persephone. Various figures such as Isabella, Lamia, Mariana, the Lady of Shalott, and Pandora represent \‘the analogy between the unfolding of the rose through earth, and of the soul through suffering\’ (Ibid., p. 23). Although it is impossible to prove that Waterhouse had begun painting The Lady of Shalott in 1886 with these associations in mind, by 1907 he surely encouraged Sketchley to advance this occultist interpretation of his oeuvre. Sketchley was right to invoke the profound Symbolist meanings within Waterhouse\’s pictures, which offer insights into the timeless concerns of desire, death, regeneration, and immortality. Again and again he highlighted the magical transformation of mortals\’ bodies into non-human forms as emblems of the passage from death to eternal life, usually through encounters of intense passion or violence. Emerging from Waterhouse\’s studio around the same time as Isabella and the Pot of Basil were two more transformations of flesh into foliage, both drawn from Ovid\’s Metamorphoses: Phyllis and Demophoön (1907) and Apollo and Daphne (1908). Waterhouse\’s paintings from this period reflect his deep and fluent engagement with narratives from both the romantic and classical traditions. Isabella and the Pot of Basil is a superb example of the former, and its return to the limelight after so many years of private ownership will surely be a revelation for those fortunate enough to see it in person this season. We are grateful to Peter Trippi for his assistance in preparing this catalogue entry.
John William Waterhouse - Echo And Narcissus

John William Waterhouse - Echo And Narcissus

Original
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Lot number: 401
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John William Waterhouse (1849-1917) - Coloured print - "Echo and Narcissus", 10ins x 18ins, R.Cooper after Adam Buck (1759-1833) - "The Sisters" and "Brother and Sister", each 8.25ins x 7ins, and William Radclyffe (1780-1855) - Coloured lithograph - "Sheep's Bridge and Sixth Form Bench", 8.25ins x 12.25ins, all framed and glazed
John William Waterhouse - Study For Circe Invidiosa

John William Waterhouse - Study For Circe Invidiosa

Original
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Lot number: 1
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John William Waterhouse, R.A., R.I. 1849-1917 STUDY FOR CIRCE INVIDIOSA charcoal and pencil 24 by 22cm., 9½ by 8½in. Read Condition Report Read Condition Report Register or Log-in to view condition report Or Saleroom Notice Provenance The artist's widow, Mrs Esther Waterhouse, by whom sold Christie's, 23 July 1926, 'The Remaining works of the Late J.W. Waterhouse, Esq., R.A.', part of lot 8 (with 20 other drawings), bought by Dr James Nicoll by whom gifted to the father of the present owner Catalogue Note This is a study for the head of the enchantress Circe in Waterhouse's painting of 1892 Circe Invidiosa (Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide), in which she is pouring a huge bowl of lurid green poison into the sea to transform her love-rival Scylla into a hideous monster.This drawing and the following two studies by Leighton and Waterhouse were in the collection of Dr James Nicoll, medical superintendent of the Fountain Hospital in Tooting. His obituary stated that ‘his principal interests were his collections of paintings and porcelain. He bought extensively and made a hobby of tracing the history of his best pieces, seeking documents authenticating each article.’’’’’’’’ (British Medical Journal, 7 February 1959) Fig. 1 John William Waterhouse, Circe Invidiosa See MoreSee Less Suggested Lots JUMP TO LOT Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art Lot No. Invalid Now Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art 14 July 2016 | 2:00 PM BSTLondon Buy Catalogue Contact Info Contact Info Simon Toll Director
John William Waterhouse - Study For The Figure Of Echo In Echo And Narcissus

John William Waterhouse - Study For The Figure Of Echo In Echo And Narcissus

Original
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Lot number: 104
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John William Waterhouse, R.A. (1849-1917) Study for the figure of Echo in 'Echo and Narcissus' inscribed 'Echo & Narcissus' (lower left) black chalk on blue-grey paper 31 ¼ x 18 1/8 in. (79.4 x 46 cm.) PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN The present drawing is a study for the figure of Echo, at the same scale as she is in the oil painting (Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, fig. 1). Waterhouse rarely made full-scale studies for his paintings in this way, more often using small sketchbooks to formulate ideas and poses, before working directly onto the canvas. As such the importance of the painting is evident in the production of the study. Using the same technique employed by Burne-Jones, he has drawn his model nude, in order to understand the movement and tensions of her body in the pose, before adding the drapery later. The hands and feet are left unrealised, waiting for their setting in order to take shape. The strong, sweeping lines have a sinuous fluidity which captures the elegance and poise of the heartbroken nymph. Whilst the myth of Narcissus is hugely well-known and has been frequently represented by artists throughout the ages, the related story of Echo is a more unusual subject. The myth of Narcissus has been told for at least two thousand years, whilst Echo first appears in Ovid’’’’’’’’s Metamorphoses, in which she is the catalyst for Narcissus’’’’’’’’s fate. Seeing him walking in the woods one day, she fell in love and tried to embrace him. Narcissus pushed her away, leaving her heartbroken, and she faded away until nothing but an echoing sound remained. Nemesis, the goddess of revenge, learnt of this and decided to punish Narcissus, luring him to a pool where he saw his own reflection and, not realising it was only an image, fell in love with it. Eventually realising the futility of this, he committed suicide. Waterhouse, although twenty years younger than the founding members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, became increasingly influenced by their work throughout his career, both stylistically and in terms of subject matter, and made his first notable foray into Pre-Raphaelitism with his 1888 The Lady of Shalott (Tate Britain). It is this later style, rather than his early classicism, for which he is best remembered. The Times in his obituary (12 February 1917) described his work as ‘pre-Raphaelite pictures in a more modern manner’’’’’’’’, and he was seen to take up the mantle of Edward Burne-Jones in his retelling of ancient stories. Perhaps best-known for his Tennysonian scenes, episodes from the Metamorphoses in fact account for a greater number of his works. Echo and Narcissus was Waterhouse’’’’’’’’s major work in the 1903 Academy Exhibition, and was critically well-received: The Studio commented that ‘Mr Waterhouse, indeed, has not often before touched so high a level, admirable artist as he always is’’’’’’’’. Waterhouse brilliantly captures the intricacies of the story within a single moment – Echo and Narcissus separated by the pool, him reaching futilely towards his reflection which he cannot touch, whilst she gazes longingly across at him, unable to reach him.
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