a look at

John William Waterhouse's Paintings


John William Waterhouse emerged in the mid-19th century, during a period when the Industrial Revolution was in full effect and destitution was rampant in England’s poorest regions.

early career

His initial works were not Pre-Raphaelite in character, but rather traditionally classical, in the manner of Frederic Leighton and Alma-Tadema. These early pieces were shown at the Society of British Artists.

late career

Ophelia was yet another of his favorite themes; the most well-known of his works of Ophelia portrays her just before her demise, with flowers in her tresses as she rests on a tree limb bending over a lake.


John William Waterhouse is frequently categorized as a Pre-Raphaelite artist due to his devotion to depicting beautiful ladies, love of the femme fatale, and naturalism.


Scholars noticed Waterhouse’s preference for picking sad or harsh themes and discovering the beauty or serenity in them by drawing on well-known legends or mythology.

notable paintings

Some of his most notable works include The Lady of Shalott (1888), A Mermaid (1900), The Crystal Ball (1902), and Echo and Narcissus (1903).


Waterhouse was a favorite of the Royal Academy, where he showed practically every year of his lengthy career, and he created paintings that were praised for their rich, luminous color and veiled sexuality.


John William Waterhouse’s paintings have a dreamlike, romantic feel to them, with a sensual manipulation of paint that gives them a distinct personality.