In his 1842 ballad, The Lady of Shalott, the English poet Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) fashioned a tragic heroine who records scenes and events during King Arthur's reign in a woven tapestry, but who must do so only by viewing reflections in a mirror, because of an unnamed curse. The poem served as a lasting inspiration for the painter William Holman Hunt, who in 1848 was one of the founding members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, which sought to repudiate the artificiality of academic art by following the stylistic precepts that had guided early Italian artists.
William Holman Hunt (English,1827-1905)
The Lady of Shalott, c.1890 - 1905
Oil on canvas, 74 1/4 x 57 5/8 in.
The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund,1961.470
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT
Matted size: 14 x 11 in.
Image size: 6 x 9 in.