John William Waterhouse
(British, 1849-1917)

Welcome, this website is dedicated to the artist JW Waterhouse. The year 2017 is the centenary of his death and this website will be relaunched shortly with additional images, photographs and biographical information.

Feb 1st, 2018: Rupert Maas on the idiotic removal of Hylas and the Nymphs from Manchester Art Gallery:
"I think that this is about denying the Manchester public the possibility of seeing one of their favourite pictures. I mean, what would you think if you went to the cinema and were asked to sit there with no film in front of you? I think this is really, really quite arrogant to do this. ... It's the new fascism..."

Sign the petition to restore Hylas and the Nymphs to view!

Artist Overview:
  • Nickname: Nino
  • Birthplace: Rome, Italy
  • Honours: Royal Academician (RA, elected 1895)
  • Death: 10th February 1917
  • Burial: Kensal Green Cemetery, London
Works of Art:

Waterhouse painted figurative / narrative pictures primarily in the medium of oil. He found inspiration in stories and legends from British literature and Classical mythology.

His paintings are scattered throughout the world: many are owned by public museums in the United Kingdom, Australia and elsewhere; others are in the hands of private collectors in the UK, USA and Russia.


In his lifetime, Waterhouse was well regarded by his fellow artists, art critics and the general public. His work fell out of fashion, along with that of other Victorian painters, with the advent of the First World War, and wouldn't become popular again (with the public at least) until the late 20th century.

"Mr. Waterhouse adds to his designs a certain mystic suggestion—a touch of that sad wonderment which troubles the deep thinker." (The Art Journal, 1896)

The Models:

Waterhouse's paintings are famous for the feminine beauty depicted in them. His genre of female beauty became known as 'The Waterhouse Girl'. The identity of Waterhouse's models range from family members and friends, to professional artists' models. Some of the young female models would later become famous in their own right as renowned stage actresses and movie stars.

Miscellaneous Facts:


Versions of The Lady of Shalott


Years since the last Waterhouse exhibition


Postcards of The Lady of Shalott (1888) sold at the Tate Gallery in 1998


Copies sold of Peter Trippi's 2002 biography about Waterhouse
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