Walker Art Gallery

'Echo and Narcissus' 1903

John William Waterhouse (1849 - 1917)

Oil on canvas, 109.2 x 189.2cm
Accession Number WAG2967

'Echo and Narcissus' 1903, John William Waterhouse (1849 - 1917)

In Greek mythology, the unhappy nymph Echo was condemned to repeat the last words spoken to her. She fell in love with the beautiful youth Narcissus. He rejected her and was punished by falling in love with his own reflection. He was trapped by the sight of his own beauty and died. Yellow narcissus flowers grew where he died and Waterhouse has included these in the painting.

Waterhouse was of a younger generation than Rossetti and Burne-Jones. His subjects of doomed and unhappy love were prettier, less disturbing and more widely popular than theirs.


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