John William Waterhouse, 1849-1917
Oil on canvas
Windflowers are borne on long stems and are easily tossed by the wind, as their name suggests. Here, the young woman who is gathering them is windswept too, and this shows off her flowing hair and robes, giving an elegant curve to her figure, and suggesting a sweet malleability. Anthony Hobson describes this as an "important picture," in that it "ushered in a new theme, that of girls in flowing costume gathering flowers in a more open landscape, and this was pursued at intervals for some ten years" (91).