La Belle Dame Sans Merci
My Sweet Rose
The Awakening of Adonis
Hylas and the Nymphs
The Lady of Shallot
The soulfully romantic Pre-Raphaelite style of painting seems perfectly in tune with this time of year, what with February 14th just a few days away.
John William Waterhouse (1849 - 1917) was actually working his magic years after the actual Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood had stirred things up in England. But certainly their earlier work retained its influence on the painter born in Italy to English parents who were, themselves, artists.
Waterhouse's early upbringing in Italy appears to have influenced his style and occasionally, the settings of his paintings. Not much is known about his private life except that he married, had no children and his wife outlived him by 27 years. Most of the models who posed for his dramatic canvases remain unknown.
Waterhouse's canvases usually featured idealized, sylph-like women, expansive romantic gestures, glowing light, flowing dresses, blowing wind, tortured souls, tormented lovers in the middle of parting and/or other forms of romantic wretchedness.
He was fond of depicting scenes from medieval romances and Greek mythology. In many cases the myths themselves were not as beautiful in their telling as Waterhouse's artistic interpretations made them out to be, but why quibble. The paintings are exquisite in their stylish sentiment and I don't think that's a bad thing. I'm very fond of his work.
More information on John William Waterhouse is available at this site.