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John William Waterhouse Art Prints and Posters
Victorian romantic painter and rampant nymphet-maniac John William Waterhouse was born in Rome where he had the dual misfortune to be conceived by artists and nicknamed 'Nino'. As a result, he too became tragically and incurably artistic and was obliged to spend his working life locked away in a St John's Wood studio, passing the time turning out more than 300 richly-coloured and sensuously-executed oils, initially influenced by the likes of Lord Leighton, but later by literary themes.
The middle period of John's career is reckoned to be his finest and in 1891, aged 42, no doubt suffering some sort of 'fin de siecle' mid-life crisis, he painted his classic 'Hylas and the Nymphs' (a.k.a 'What, all seven of you at once?') in which some bloke wanders out to his garden pond to find that its resident frogs have metamorphoses into nude teenage girls (happens all the time in St. John's Wood). Another product of John's hormone-induced artistic frenzy is the mega famous and quite magnificent Lady of Shallot (a.k.a. 'Coming... ready or not!'), in which we see a wistful young thing carelessly allowing her inordinately long gown (complete with carpet extension piece) to trail in the local boating lake as she enjoys a game of water-borne hide and seek.
Although John's work is full of models who look like they did day shifts for the Pre-Raphaelites, there is some confusion amongst art boffs as to exactly where he's coming from: his pictures display many of the features of formal Classicism the PRs so despised, whilst taking his subject matter from the poetry and mythology that was pre-requisite PR bedtime reading. So, John William Waterhouse: Pre-Raphaelite, Classicist, or simply School of Mucky Raincoat? the mass debate goes on.Copyright Michael Cox