"FUIMUS - We Have Been"

"FUIMUS - We Have Been!" motto of Clan Bruce

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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

IVORY TOWER; Waterhouse Home Furnishings

The latest print to grace my bedroom wall
Those of you who have read previous blog posts will be aware that I have a fondness for the artwork of John William Waterhouse.  I have lots of prints featuring his work in the main bedroom.  I love that he was inspired by the Arthurian legends, which is another one of my own interests, and that many of his paintings were based around aspects of this British branch of mythology.    

The image above is one of his versions of The Lady of Shalott and it depicts the moment when the Lady Elaine first sees Lancelot through the window of her chamber and her life is changed forever.  I like the way Waterhouse has painted Elaine so that she is staring right out of the canvas, beyond the observer, to the knight only she can see.  She is utterly dazzled by the sight of him and falls instantly in love.  This pictorial moment in her story is when the curse against her is activated, which leads to her dying of a broken heart. Laid in a boat, she floats down to Camelot, where Lancelot finds her body. 

It is one of the most poignant tales of the Arthurian sagas, which might be why Waterhouse revisited it time and again as the subject for his art, and why Tennyson wrote his moving poem The Lady of Shalott.

The tragic boat scene

I've had the print at the top of this post for some time, rolled up in a poster tube to keep it safe and with the arrival of spring I decided to dig it out and use it to give my bedroom a bit of a fresh spring lift.  I plan to get it framed and hung this week. In addition, it was with great delight that I recently came across a small range of Waterhouse themed home ware and I bought some cushion covers; the boat scene cushion is sat in my leather executive chair in my study, while the Destiny one sits on the chaise lounge in the bedroom.  I have also got a Lady of Shalott locket,  which again depicts Waterhouse's famous boat scene and which has an antique finish.  I love it and it feels like such a lovely find.

Waterhouse was a prolific artist and there are lots of prints out there.  He had a fondness for romanticism which is probably why I appreciate his work so much.  I have been a fan since my late teens and I have gradually collected prints of all my favourite Waterhouse images.  My bedroom is like a small art gallery! These recent additions will brighten my home, make me smile and are sure to become talking points. 
Sometimes you just stumble across something that is so perfect for your house, you simply have to have it - this small shopping spree was just such a moment for me. It was a very lucky find.

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