Use your browser's back button or click
J. W. Warterhouse in his studio
William Waterhouse was born in Rome in 1849. This early baptism in
Italy's classical heritage was to have a profound effect on his life's
work, immersing his art in ancient myth and literary allegory.
Throughout his schooldays, Waterhouse's artistic talent lay dormant, but
his young mind was constantly nourished on a diet of ancient history
which he read voraciously.
It was while working as an apprentice in his father's art studio that Waterhouse's ability as a painter emerged and he gained entrance as a scholar into the Royal Academy, London.
Throughout his career he won acclaim as a masterful story-teller, with an instinctive gift for suspending the viewer at the most striking moment of the narrative. His numerous paintings of historical, mythical and literary episodes embroider the original tales with imagery from his own fertile imagination.
Waterhouse's most productive years were spent at his Primrose Hill Studios in London, where he populated his canvases with haunting compositions of young, waif-like models. Once he had found his style, he stuck to it for the rest of his life. He continued to paint until his death in 1917, leaving a rich legacy of archetypal Victorian images - particularly of wistful female beauties. His somewhat neglected grave can be found at Kensal Green Cemetery in London.