The Lady of Shalott Painting

who was john william waterhouse?

His style consisted of elements of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, and he explored themes related to the different archetypes of women from literature and mythology.

different versions

Waterhouse painted two other versions of the same subject matter, namely The Lady of Shalott Looking at Lancelot (1894), and I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, Said the Lady of Shalott (1915).

formal analysis of the artwork

subject matter

Lady Shalott is sitting in the boat; she is staring out ahead of her and her mouth is partially open as if she is singing and her lips are red.


There is an overall natural appearance in The Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse, and the colors consist of greens, reds, oranges, browns, blues, and more neutral colors like white and black.


There are areas of clear brushwork and outlines, which give the composition an almost photographic detail. This can be seen in the boat’s bow as well as the lantern hanging from it.


The Lady of Shalott painting depicts a variety of naturalistic and organic lines with subtle contrasts between vertical and horizontal linear placements.

shape and form

There are naturalistic shapes and forms in The Lady of Shalott painting; for example, the trees and natural foliage, the boat, as well as shape of the human figure of the Lady of Shalott.


The Lady of Shalott painting depicts a three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional format, which is a canvas, therefore depth is implied. It is created through color and perspective.