A Mermaid by J.W. Waterhouse St Eulalia

I nipped into the Royal Academy in Burlington House at lunch time to get my quick fix of J.W. Waterhouse. They have on a retrospective with quite a large number of his paintings brought together from all over the world. Of course included were my favourites The Lady of Shallot, A Mermaid and St. Eulalia (see above). Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

I’ve always felt that there is a melancholic air pervading most of Waterhouse’s paintings. His use of muted, dusky colours coupled with flashes of peacock blue, pink and white pulls you into the cold, dark, snow-filled and windswept landscapes in which his paintings are often set. Although Waterhouse appeared many years after the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood was established, his romantic subject matter and natural settings place him firmly within their aesthetic.

I left the exhibition, walking through the courtyard of Burlington House and peering into the windows of the Royal Astronomical Society to try and catch a glimpse of their gorgeous library, feeling uplifted especially since I bagged myself an exhibition catalogue, some postcards and a fridge magnet. Well, what was I supposed to do? Come away empty handed?