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John Waterhouse

Lamia

Lamia by John Waterhouse

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Early in his career Waterhouse painted Graeco-Roman subjects in the manner of Alma-Tadema. However, he was later drawn to the romantic Pre-Raphaelite style, painting the Arthurian legends popularised by poets such as Tennyson. Lamia (a second version painted in 1905 is privately owned in London) was inspired by Keats' celebrated poem of 1820, about a bridegroom who discovers on his wedding night that his bride is a monstrous half-serpent who preys on young men. As such, she is a classic femme fatale. The only visual clue to Lamia's nature is the moulted snake-skin draped about her.

Title
Lamia
Artist/creator
Production date
1905
Medium
oil on canvas
Size (h x w)
1447 x 902 mm
Inscription
J.W. Waterhouse (l.r.)
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Moss Davis, 1930
Accession no
1930/18/1
Copyright
No known copyright restrictions
Department
International Art
Display status
On display

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