Pictures by J.W. Waterhouse
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 180.7 x 87.4 cm
Location: Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Also known as 'Circe Poisoning the Sea'.
Waterhouse took the subject of this painting from Ovid's Metamorphoses. Scylla, a water nymph, was loved by Glaucus, a sea deity. She rejected his advances, and he turned for aid to Circe, the enchantress. Circe, however, fell in love with Glaucus herself, and to destroy Scylla, her rival, poisoned the stream where the nymph was accustomed to bathe. When Scylla entered the water she was transformed into a hideous monster, whereupon she threw herself into the sea which separates Italy from Sicily and was changed into the rock, so perilous to sailors, which bears her name.
Waterhouse shows Circe pouring poison into the stream in which Scylla was accustomed to bathe.
See also Sir Edward Burne-Jones' The Wine of Circe and John Melhuish Strudwick's Circe and Scylla.
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