I've been a great admirer of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and their artistic style for a very long time now. Of all the artists associated with the movement, I think that John William Waterhouse is probably my favorite. This is partly because Waterhouse was consistently brilliant in his creation of evocative scenes inspired by mythology, historical legend, and classic literature. However, while this aspect of his art appeals to me on an intellectual level, I find myself also drawn in by the delicate sense of bittersweet romance and unrequited love on an emotional level. Waterhouse was one of the last Pre-Raphaelite artists and yet his work overshadows many of the lesser known artists of the movement who came before him.
J.W. Waterhouse knew how to create some of the most beautiful paintings of women ever and his take on the figures of myth and fairy tales are so stunningly gorgeous! Whenever I think of mermaids, this is the image that comes to mind. The skin tone, the hair, the eyes, the entire figure, is so delicately and beautifully rendered.
One of the most haunting and alluring Pre-Raphaelite images ever. Waterhouse does a great job here with the facial expressions and I love his use of the blues and purples, which are so subtle and yet your eyes are drawn to them.
Another gorgeous image. Waterhouse rarely used the color red and when he did, he made the best of it as seen here as well as in his Romeo and Juliet paintings. I also like the small, yet noticeable detail of the room being reflected upside-down in the crystal ball.
Despite the fact that this painting is taken from Greek myth, I for some reason have always associated it with Arthurian legends and the Lady of the Lake. The colors here are rather brighter than what one is used to seeing int Waterhouse's work, which only makes the over all image more memorable.