Thursday, April 07, 2005

semi-random thought

I've always liked the paintings of John William Waterhouse. A couple of years ago I had the chance to see Ulysses and the Sirens when it was at the Birmingham Museum of Art, as a part of an exhibit of paintings from the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia. I gazed at the painting, delighted to be so close to the painting, to be able to see the individual brushstrokes. A woman who had been viewing the painting then looked over at me, and struck up a conversation about how beautiful the women always are in his paintings. I agreed, and we discussed the theory that Waterhouse used his sisters as models for the faces of the women in many of his paintings, all of whom have an etheral beauty to them. Then she indicated a particlar siren, and said that she thought I looked like that siren. (The one Ulysses is looking directly at, with brown hair, slightly to the left of center)

So that complement had mulled around in my head for a few years, until I needed an avatar to use online. A Waterhouse painting was a natural choice. The painting I use for my Blogger profile is The Crystal Ball. The underlying theme of the painting is found in many of Waterhouse's paintings - a strong-willed, independent, and powerful woman who is also very beautiful. Women also have access to some deep mysteries, through magic, nature, and religion. Waterhouse often chose stories from Greek/Roman mythology and popular literature. You can find lists of Waterhouse's paintings here and here.

No, I don't know what brought this on either.

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