John William Waterhouse: Flora and the Zephyrs, 1898 (detail)
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John William Waterhouse (1849-1917)
Waterhouse studied at the Royal Academy Schools in the 1870s; the early works he produced were of a classical style and were heavily influenced by artists such as Leighton and Alma-Tadema. He made several trips to Italy where he found inspiration for his paintings and began to produce large canvases using classical compositions and the Pre-Raphaelite concepts of beautiful women who were ultimately tragic or powerful.
He was active several decades after the break-up of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, which had seen its heyday in the mid-nineteenth century, leading him to be known as "the modern Pre-Raphaelite". Borrowing stylistic influences not only from the earlier Pre-Raphaelites but also from his contemporaries, the Impressionists, his artworks were known for their depictions of women from both ancient Greek mythology and Arthurian legend.
Flora and the Zephyrs takes its subject from Ovid's Fasti, which is a verse chronicle of the Roman calendar, and which incorporates the mythologies and historical legends of Rome where they can he associated with specific times of the year. Waterhouse's painting shows the moment when Zephyr first set eyes upon and fell in love with Flora, as she gathered flowers in the fields with her maidens and children. He flies down to her, accompanied by his winged companions, and captures her by casting a garland of white flowers around her.
the above text appears on the back of the card HC-1022: card size 6" x 6" (150mm x 150mm)