Friday, April 17, 2009

John William Waterhouse

This was the first painting I saw by John William Waterhouse ( It was featured in a medieval romance calendar and, true to form, I completely fell in love with it. Then, while working at Chapters I came across a coffee-table art book of all his works, and went through a period where all I could do was rhapsodize about the beauty he created. I much prefer realist art to abstract art (MUCH) so the fact that each of his subjects seems as if he or she could step right out of the canvas appeals to me greatly. I love that he uses such lush imagery, so much beautiful colour... his paintings are so passionate, but elegant. I also adore that most of his works are based on either mythological characters and stories or characters from epic poems and other forms of literature. His paintings of Ophelia are soul-stirringly gorgeous.

My all-time favourite, though, is Boreas:

Every time I look at this painting (at least, the pixelated version) I can feel the brush of the wind across my cheek, the texture of the billowing fabric sweeping against my arm... I can hear the rush of the breeze through the long grass, and imagine the slight warmth from the overcast sun. I also find a little of myself in the melancholy expression on the woman's face - though obviously she's much prettier and as perfect as all of Waterhouse's subjects - because whlie she looks a bit sad and a bit lost, two emotions that I can relate to, she also looks like she feels an awful lot, and if there's anything I do, and do well, it's feel.

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