The Lady of Shalott, 1888
This painting by John William Waterhouse illustrates the lines from part IV of Tennyson’s 1842 poem, also entitled The Lady of Shalott:
And down the river’s dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance –
With glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.
The Lady of Shalott was tempted out of her isolation upon seeing Lancelot’s reflection in her mirror. However, the curse placed upon her caused her to die before reaching her true love.
I have loved this painting ever since I first saw it aged 12. Since then, my love for it has continued to grow, despite its sorrowful, fatalistic theme.
Image via tate.org.uk