Narcissus – (John William Waterhouse) Previous Next


Artist:

Style: Pre-Raphaelites

Topic: Flowers Nudes

Technique: Oil

Narcissus (1903) is an oil painting by the English Pre-Raphaelite painter John William Waterhouse. 'Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph, that liv'st unseen Within thy airy shell By slow Meander's margent green, And in the violet-embroidered vale Where the lovelorn nightingale Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well: Canst thou not tell me of a gentle pair That likest thy Narcissus are?' John Milton (1608-1674), 'Comus' Punished by a goddess for her constant chatter, Echo was confined to repeating the words of others. Enamoured of Narcissus, the son of the river god Cephisus and the nymph Liriope, she tried to win his love using fragments of his own speech but he spurned her attentions. Passing by a stream, the beautiful youth caught a glimpse of his reflection is a stream and became transfixed by the lovely image. Believing it to be the form of a nymph, he vainly courted the watery mirage and wasted away through unrequited love. He was transformed into the flower that bears his name and Echo pined away until nothing but her voice remained.

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Artist

John William Waterhouse

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