The Lady of Shalot Looking at Lancelot

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John William Waterhouse’s painting “The Lady of Shalot Looking at Lancelot” is a haunting and evocative work that captures the romantic and tragic themes of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s famous poem “The Lady of Shalot.” Completed in 1894, the painting depicts the Lady of Shalot, a mysterious and melancholy figure who is cursed to live a life of isolation and despair, as she gazes upon the handsome knight Lancelot, who has come to rescue her.

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Giclee Print – Paper:
Giclee print on premium archival quality Fine Art Matte paper. Certificate of Authenticity included. Shipped rolled and ready to be framed.

Giclee Print – Canvas:
Exhibition quality canvas stretched over wooden stretcher bars w/mirrored edge so none of the original image is lost. Certificate of Authenticity included. Ready to hang on your wall.

SKU: TRG-PRINT-INET-000530 Categories: , Tag: Artist: WaterHouse, John William


The painting is characterized by Waterhouse’s characteristic attention to detail and his use of rich, jewel-like colors, which create a sense of otherworldliness and romance. The Lady of Shalot is dressed in a flowing gown that billows around her like a cloud. Her face is sad and wistful, as if she knows that she is doomed to die, but her eyes are fixed upon Lancelot, who appears in the distance like a beacon of hope.

The figure of Lancelot is only partially visible in the painting, but his presence is felt throughout. He is depicted as a powerful and heroic figure, riding on his horse with a look of determination and purpose. His armor glitters in the sunlight, and his cape billows behind him like a flag. His presence suggests a sense of adventure and possibility, as if he has come to rescue the Lady of Shalot from her lonely existence.

The painting is full of symbolism and allusions to the themes of Tennyson’s poem. The Lady of Shalot is surrounded by a variety of objects, such as a mirror and a tapestry, which suggest her role as a weaver of stories and a keeper of secrets.

The painting’s composition is also notable, with the Lady of Shalot and Lancelot situated on opposite sides of the painting, creating a sense of distance and separation between them. The Lady of Shalot is positioned in the lower left-hand corner, while Lancelot is placed in the upper right-hand corner, suggesting that they are on opposite ends of the spectrum of experience.

In conclusion, “The Lady of Shalot Looking at Lancelot” is a powerful and evocative work that captures the romantic and tragic themes of Tennyson’s famous poem. Waterhouse’s use of rich, jewel-like colors and his attention to detail create a sense of otherworldliness and mystery, while the painting’s symbolism and composition invite viewers to reflect on the themes of love, isolation, and mortality. It is a lasting masterpiece of Victorian art and continues to inspire artists and scholars today.

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