Lines and Colors art blog

Eye Candy for Today: Waterhouse’s Juliet

Juliet, John William Waterhouse
Juliet, John William Waterhouse

The link is to Wikimedia Commons. This painting was sold at auction in 2014, and is now in a private collection. Fortunately, we at least have a reasonably good image of the painting.

Waterhouse is frequently mentioned with the Pre-Raphaelites, with whom he associated and by whom he was certainly influenced; but unlike his older friends and mentors, Waterhouse painted in a more direct, painterly manner, with more evidence of the passage of the brush.

That approach is wonderfully evident in this solitary portrayal of Shakespeare’s very young tragic heroine (in the play, she is not yet fourteen, Romeo a fair bit older, perhaps 18 or 19). The painting might be somewhere in intention between a study and a finished work.

I always admire Waterhouse’s soft edges, which he uses frequently and to great effect in making his figures and backgrounds read as a seamless whole.