John William Waterhouse was an English painter who worked several decades after the break-up of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, which had seen its zenith in the mid-nineteenth century, leading him to have gained the moniker of "the modern Pre-Raphaelite". Borrowing stylistic influences not only from the earlier Pre-Raphaelites but also from his contemporaries, the Impressionists, his artworks were known for their depictions of women from both ancient Greek mythology and Arthurian legend. He was a painter of classical, historical, and literary subjects. His early works were of classical themes in the spirit of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema and Frederic Leighton. The latter works reveals Waterhouse's growing interest in themes associated with particularly tragic or powerful femmes fatales (Circe Invidiosa, Cleopatra, La Belle Dame Sans Merci and several versions of Lamia), as well as plein-air painting. In the 1890s he began to exhibit portraits.
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