Fair Rosamund

John William Waterhouse, 1849-1917


Oil on canvas

96.5 x 72 cm.

Anthony Hobson explains that this painting "foresees the sad culmination of another medieval tale, the true story of Lord Clifford’s daughter, the beloved of King Henry II. From the window of her secret house, she looks for his coming, but the queen, appearing at the curtained entrance, has followed ‘a clue of thredde’ through the surrounding maze and, as the chronicler Higden wrote about 1350, ‘so dealt with her that she lived not long after.’ The costume, the embroidery and the tapestry depicting knightly pageantry fit perfectly, as always, into the precise geometry of the architecture" (116).

  • Waiting on a Familiar Figure: Fair Rosamund and Mariana
  • Image credit (with thanks): jwwaterhouse.com. Text added by Jacqueline Banerjee, and formatting by Banerjee and George P. Landow.