J.W. Waterhouse

( 2 )

Overview

John William Waterhouse is among the most popular Victorian artists, and many of his paintings, such as The Lady of Shalott, Hylas and the Nymphs and Ophelia, have become icons of femininity recognized the world over. With their compelling composition, glowing colour and Impressionist-inflected technique, these paintings are admired for their beauty, yet at the same time they have the power to transport the viewer into a romantic world of myth and legend.

Waterhouse’s depictions...

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Overview

John William Waterhouse is among the most popular Victorian artists, and many of his paintings, such as The Lady of Shalott, Hylas and the Nymphs and Ophelia, have become icons of femininity recognized the world over. With their compelling composition, glowing colour and Impressionist-inflected technique, these paintings are admired for their beauty, yet at the same time they have the power to transport the viewer into a romantic world of myth and legend.

Waterhouse’s depictions of female beauty reflect his age’s complex and ambivalent attitudes towards women, in which Victorian ideals of sentiment and duty commingled with less noble undercurrents of erotic desire and misogyny. In this fresh and innovative study of the artist, Peter Trippi presents a new analysis of Waterhouse’s seductresses, martyrs and nymphs, together with a lively discussion of the cultural and historical circumstances in which these images were painted.

This authoritative volume utilizes new research to provide an accessible biography of the artist and to assess his place in the late Victorian art world. Themes explored include Waterhouse’s passion for Italy, literature and the classical world, his participation in England’s Royal Academy, his stylistic influences and studio practices, and the collectors, dealers, critics and curators who helped make him famous in his day.

Like other Victorian artists, Waterhouse was neglected through much of the twentieth century, but as critical inhibitions have fallen away the revival of his fortune has been dramatic. Today he is again acknowledged as a master painter. Peter Trippi’s monograph provides a timely re-evaluation that combines a close reading of Waterhouse’s imagery with a candid appraisal of his unique talent.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780714845180
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2005
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 469,992
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 11.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2005

    Replacing 'Kitsch' with Deserved Honor

    JW Waterhouse is one of those myriad Victorian painters whose works appear in 'books beautiful', covers for art magazines and programs, and in general, works for the boudoir. Touches of femininity such as found in his many works have been regarded as kitsch, not allowable in the museums or important art collections. Humbug!Peter Trippi at last places Waterhouse's output in a light of respect and examines his paintings with reference to the times in which they were painted and the social and gender biases of the Victorian era (biases which extended well into the 20th century!). He further offers apologies to the artist for our neglect in a way that raises our attention to a new level of appreciation. This book is lavishly illustrated with superb color reproductions of full paintings and details of paintings. Trippi's writing is scholarly and immensely readable.It is a joy to see works of the past century enter the arena of fine art. Time moves slowly: first the Pre-Raphaelites and now JW Waterhouse and his fellow painters of myth and romance. A fine volume and excellent introduction to the topic. Grady Harp

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