Waterhouse, John William

BORN 6 Apr 1849, Roma, Lazio - DIED 10 Feb 1917, London: 10 Hall Road, St. John's Wood
CAUSE OF DEATH liver cancer and heart failure
GRAVE LOCATION London: Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Road, Kensal Green (187/2 (45456))

Born in Rome as the son of British painters. He lived there until his family returned to England when he was six. He was called 'Nino' and sponsored by the painter F.R. Pickersgrill. The first picture he exhibited at the Royal Academy was "Sleep and his Half-Brother Death", inspired by the death of his two younger brothers from tuberculosis. Waterhouse married Esther Kenworthy on September 8th,1883 at the parish church of St Mary, Ealing. She was the daughter of the artist James Lees Kenworthy who had died several years before and a painter of flowers herself. Waterhouse and Esther had two children, but both died in childhood.

In 1885 he was elected an Associate of the Royal Acedemy and in 1895 he became a member. In 1888 he presented "The Lady of Shalott" which became his most famous painting and is now in the Tate Gallery, London. Waterhouse has often been compared to the members of the Preraphaelite Brotherhood, but he was never one of them.

After he died in 1917 his widow Esther had to make living by selling things from his studio and eventually she auctioned his works at Christie's in 1926. She died in 1944.

Related persons
• was influenced by Alma-Tadema, Lawrence


The grave of John Waterhouse at Kensal Green Cemetery, London.
Picture by Androom (26 Jun 2009)


"St. Eulalia".
   (1885, London: The Tate Gallery)

"The Magic Circle".
   (1886, London: The Tate Gallery)

"La Belle Dame Sans Merci".
   (1893, Darmstadt: Hessisches Landesmuseum)

"Hylas and the Nymphs".
   (1896, Manchester: Manchester Art Gallery)

"Psyche Opening the Golden Box".
   (1903, [private collection])

"My Sweet Rose".
   (1908, [-> private collection])

"Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May" (detail).
   (c1908, [private collection])

"Study for the Head in The Rose Bower".
   (c1910, [Collection Dr. Dennis T. Lanigan, Canada])

• Tobias, Rolf, Viktorianisches Lesebuch, Sexualität und Erotik in einem prüden Zeitalter, Bastei-Lübbe, Bergisch Gladbach, 1985
Who was Who vol. II 1916-1928, A companion to Who's Who containing biographies of those who..., A & C Black Ltd., London, 1929

Watkins, Franklin Chenault

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 20 May 2023