The Oracle by John William Waterhouse. Exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1884. Oil on canvas. Source: the 1885-86 Magazine of Art. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the Internet Archive and the University of Toronto Library and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]

[This is] one of those pictures sure of popularity, though entirely free from the sensationalism that is the common bid for popular applause. The semicirque of eager women, some pale, others flushed, all agitated, and the pale priestess with her ear to the mouth of the onide about to deliver some mystery, are so potent with character, so sincendy human, so admirable for the varied expression of passion, that the popularity of the picture offers no enigma as popularity sometimes does. [3]


Blaikie, J. A. “J. W. Waterhouse A.R.A.” The Magazine of Art. 9 (November 1885-October 1886): 1-6. Internet Archive version of a copy in the University of Toronto Library. Web. 24 October 2014.

24 October 2014