Tag Archives: Waterhouse

#PRBDay celebrates the Pre-Raphaelites!

The Pre-Raphaelite Society has taken to social media, with a blog, facebook page and a twitter account in addition to our website. Our twitter account has a growing number of followers (448 at last count), including some organisations such as art galleries and other societies, and academics, writers, art historians, curators as well as interested members of the public and members of the PRS. So I decided to go one step further, and celebrate the founding of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood on twitter, using the hashtag #PRBDay. I asked people to vote for their favourite painting on Saturday 8th September, and all day I registered the votes whilst tweeting facts, quotes and links about the PRB. I wasn’t sure how it would work out, or how many people would participate, but I was pleasantly surprised. Our followers retweeted the announcements, and thoroughly joined in. We had fantastic support from BMAG and Tate, Manchester Art Gallery and the Journal of Victorian Culture, among others; the Tate even wrote a blog post to celebrate!

Other blogs and websites joined in and you can read their posts about #PRBDay here: Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood; Verity Holloway; Artistic Dress; The Kissed Mouth (please let me know if there are any I’ve missed!) We posted a new poem by our poet-in-residence, Sarah Doyle, onto our website. All day, alongside the voting, I tweeted links, facts and quotes of Pre-Raphaelite interest, and enjoyed the conversation. We had book recommendations, links to Pre-Raphaelite pictures and also to people’s original art; we also asked which paintings people didn’t like: nominations included Sandys’s Medea, Millais’s The Awakening Conscience and Hunt’s The Scapegoat. (Quote of the day here must go to Stephanie Piña: ‘I feel as if the goat is summing me up and does not like what he sees’.)

I’m amazed and delighted by how much support the PRS got, and can’t thank enough those people who joined in, retweeted, voted and helped to make #PRBDay a success. We had 159 votes spread across 63 paintings. Of course, what everyone wanted to know was: which painting won? The answer is … in third place, Waterhouse’s The Lady of Shalott; in second place, Rossetti’s Beata Beatrix, and in first place, Millais’s Ophelia (the Tate’s bestselling postcard). Interestingly, though, in terms of the votes received by individual artists, Rossetti was way ahead, followed at a distance by Millais and then Waterhouse. So of the top three, two featured Elizabeth Siddal – and all three a woman with red hair. (The top paintings are rather different from the ones chosen by Stephen Wildman in the Guardian a couple of years ago).

A huge range of paintings were voted for, so I have done a list of the top 10, plus a graph of the most popular artists. A complete list of all the paintings voted for, together with all the tweets using the #PRBDay hashtag (it’s quite long!) will be posted on the PRS website (sorry, can’t append it to a blog post). More than anything, this long list of paintings, plus the enthusiasm of the voters, shows the popularity of the PRB and the number of paintings which are still really popular today. Disappointingly, though, there was only one vote for a female artist (Elizabeth Siddal). If you have a desire for further information on the votes, statistics etc, please comment and I will do my best to answer your question!

The top 20 paintings voted for were, in order:

  1. Ophelia
  2. Beata Beatrix
  3. Lady of Shalott
  4. Proserpine
  5. Beguiling of Merlin
  6. Work
  7. Astarte Syriaca
  8. Mariana
  9. Lady of Shalott
  10. April Love
  11. Chatterton
  12. Ophelia
  13. Last of England
  14. Isabella and the Pot of Basil
  15. Rossetti Portrait by Hunt
  16. Blessed Damozel
  17. Hireling Shepherd
  18. La Ghirlandata
  19. Long Engagement
  20. Golden Stairs

In terms of votes per artist, the results were:

  1. DGR
  2. Millais
  3. Waterhouse
  4. Hunt
  5. EBJ
  6. FMB
  7. Hughes
  8. Wallis
  9. Brett
  10. Collier

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New clothes for the Lady of Shalott!

I have just noticed this blog post, at the Period Wardrobe blog, on recreating Waterhouse’s Lady of Shalott. The clothes are beautifully detailed and lovingly made to match the painting, and then photographed in situ on an appropriate model. There’s also a tribute to Holman Hunt’s Lady of Shalott. It’s fascinating.

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Waterhouse in Montreal

From October 2, 2009, to February 7, 2010, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts will host the largest-ever retrospective of works by the celebrated British artist John William Waterhouse (1849-1917). J. W. Waterhouse: Garden of Enchantment is the first large-scale monographic exhibition on Waterhouse’s work since 1978 and the first to feature his entiwaterhouse-ladyofshalottre artistic career. This retrospective features some eighty works that are among the finest and most spectacular of the artist’s production, on loan from public and private collections in Australia, England, Ireland, Taiwan, the United States and Canada. It will also present many of the artist’s attractive studies in oil, chalk and pencil. Several of these works have not been exhibited since Waterhouse’s lifetime. The exhibition has been organized by the Groninger Museum, the Netherlands, with the collaboration of the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibition, which premiered at the Groninger Museum, will also be presented at the Royal Academy of Arts (June 27 to September 13, 2009), and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (October 1, 2009, to February 7, 2010).

In addition, the Tate has just agreed to allow Waterhouse’s The Lady of Shalott travel to Canada to be a part of the exhibition. There is more information about the exhibition here.

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PRS Waterhouse competition

Competition for PRS members to win two tickets to the exhibition
J. W. Waterhouse: The Modern Pre-Raphaelite
The Royal Academy of Arts 27 June – 13 September 2009
The Royal Academy of Arts presents a major retrospective exhibition of the late Pre-Raphaelite artist, John William Waterhouse RA (1849–1917). This will be the first major Waterhouse show to have been presented in the United Kingdom since the late 1970s.

For the chance to win a pair of tickets to the exhibition, email your name and address to competitions@royalacademy.org.uk, with PRS in the subject box. The winning name will be drawn on 1st August 2009. Judges’ decision is final.

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Waterhouse study day at Buscot Park

day0125On Saturday July 18th, Buscot Park in Oxfordshire is to host a study day entitled “J W Waterhouse and the Pre-Raphaelite Tradition”, to complement the Royal Academy’s major retrospective exhibition J W Waterhouse: The Modern Pre-Raphaelite (27 June – 13 September 2009). Waterhouse’s paintings are amongst the best-loved of the Victorian age – his Lady of Shalott is consistently the Tate’s best-selling postcard – and his mastery of the art of myth and poetry is as compelling as ever.  The speakers for the study day are Julian Treuherz, Peter Trippi and David Freeman, and it looks like it will be an excellent event. You can get more information and book a place here.

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