John William Waterhouse – Beguiled by Women

Waterhouse’s paintings are almost all of women, many of whom are nude or scantily dressed. He was fascinated by the femme fatale, and often painted women luring men to their doom.

Influenced by both Victorian Classicism and the Pre-Raphaelites, his paintings still create scandal today. His masterpiece, ‘Hylas And the Nymphs’ was removed from the Manchester Art Gallery in 2018 to ‘prompt conversations about how we display and interpret artworks’.

Are some of his paintings pornographic? Do they really warrant the removal from the gallery wall? Or does their classical setting give them respectability?

This talk will look at Waterhouse’s most celebrated works, including ‘Hylas and the Nymphs’ and ‘The Lady of Shallot’, and explores the paintings within the context of the time.