detail from Echo and Narcissus John William Waterhouse (1849-1917
Waterhouse was active several decades after the break-up of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, which had seen its heyday in the mid 19th 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.
Echo and Narcissus illustrates the poem from Ovid's Metamorphoses. Narcissus was the son of the river god Cephissus and the nymph Liriope. His parents were told that he would live to an old age if he did not look at himself. He rejected all the nymphs and women who fell in love with him. One of these was the nymph Echo, who was so upset by her rejection that she withdrew from life and wasted away until all that was left was a whisper. Her prayers were heard by the goddess Nemesis who caused Narcissus to fall in love with his own reflection. He continued to look at his reflection until he died. A narcissus flower grew on the spot where he died.
the above text appears on the back of the card HC-914: card size 7" x 5" (178mm x 127mm)