I heard the mermaid singing…

John William Waterhouse died 97 years ago on 10th February 1917. He was an important  English “Modern Pre-Raphaelite artist“. displaying similar style and techniques used by both the Pre-Raphaelistic and Impressionist Movements.  His fondness was for painting women of either ancient Greek mythology or from the Arthurian legend.

Born in 1849 in Rome, to English parents who were both painters. The family returned to England in 1954, settling in South Kensington, London. In 1871, Waterhouse enrolled in the Royal Academy of Art, initially to study sculpture, before moving on to painting.

  • The piece featured here is entitled: “A Mermaid” (1901) and was originally intended to be shown at the Academy as a Diploma work in 1894  but took many years to complete. According to Wikipedia, After this, the painting was lost until the 20th century, and is now displayed in the collection of Lord Lloyd-Webber.

His untimely death occurred in 1915 and he is buried at Kensal Green Cemetery in London. Waterhouse’s works on display at several major British art galleries, and the Royal Academy of Art organised a major retrospective of his work in 2009.

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Source: Phillpotts, Beatrice. Mermaids. Ballantine, New York. 1980
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