The early works of Waterhouse 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.
Waterhouse painted two versions of Gather Ye Rosebuds; this, the first version of 1908, was inspired by the 17th century poem "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time" by Robert Herrick which begins: Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying; And this same flower that smiles today, Tomorrow will be dying.
he above text appears on the back of the card HC-835: card size 7" x 5" (178mm x 127mm)