Monday, March 29, 2010

The Lady of Shallot

Slowly filling the Aquarium with water!

This time pure gothic fantasy inspired by Tennyson's poem, John Waterhouse's 'The Lady of Shallot'. It's the kind of romantic image which as a teenager one enthusiastically frames in dark mahogany, wanting to be devoutly married to and live with every day, after seeing it in all its glory at the Tate.

All reproductions of paintings invariably are pale imitations of experiencing oil on canvas in the flesh; however, one chemical rite-de-passage, long ago, entangled in fascination at its rich detail, I distinctly heard the heavy flap of the gorgeous tapestry, the splutter of a candle guttering in the breeze and caught the zip of a swallow flitting past eye!

From its imposing size and presence in the Tate Gallery, Waterhouse's famous painting is the canvas which launched a thousand adolescent minds to delve further into the Pre-Raphaelite world of an idealized Arthurian world of myth and legend, languid heroines and Victorian social comment. One can almost hear the Gothic lamentations of a chanteuse such as Nico in the air as the heroine glides to a watery death!
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