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Paintings › View › The Lady of Shalott [on boat] 1888   
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  bullet  1888 . Oil on canvas
  bullet  The Tate Gallery - London, England
Actual Size (W x H): 200cm x 153cm [ 78.80" x 60.28" ]
John William Waterhouse: The Lady of Shalott [on boat] - 1888 John William Waterhouse: The Lady of Shalott [on boat] - 1888

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A longdrawn carol, mournful, holy,
She chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her eyes were darken'd wholly,
And her smooth face sharpen'd slowly,
Turn'd to tower'd Camelot:
For ere she reach'd upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
The Lady of Shalott.
excerpt - Tennyson, 1832

Tennyson's poem 'The Lady of Shallott' published in 1883 tells of a woman suffering under an undisclosured curse, and living isolated in a tower near King Arthur's castle. She is allowed to see the outside world only through its reflection in a mirror. One day she glimpses the handsome knight Lancelot reflected and cannot resist looking at him directly. The punishment that follows results in her drifting in her boat downstream to Camelot 'singing her last song,' but dying before reaching there. Waterhouse shows her letting go the boat's chains, while staring at the crucifix, placed in front of the three glittering candles. This imaginary figure is set in a highly naturalistic lanscape. - Description from Tate Gallery, - visited Oct.10th, 1999



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