The Mermaid

The Mermaid

John William Waterhouse, 1849-1917


Oil on canvas

96.5 x 66.6 cm.

Royal Academy of Arts, London

This was Waterhouse's Diploma picture for the Summer Exhibition of the Academy in 1901. Anthony Hobson descrinbes it as "one of his most delicate conceptions," which he had taken a long time to perfect; in the softness, naturalness, and wistfulness of the figure, Hobson finds a good example of the difference between this artist and Sir Edward Burne-Jones (see p. 80). — Jacqueline Banerjee

  • Sir Joseph Noel Paton's Oberon and the Mermaid (1883)
  • Eleanor Vere Boyle's Mermaids (1883)
  • Women as Vampires, Harpies, Sirens, Mermaids
  • "The Mermaid": Half woman and half cursed?
  • Photo © Royal Academy of Arts, London. Thanks to Emily Doran of the RA, who provided this image as part of the pubicity for their 2009 Waterhouse exhibition.