Date: circa 1915
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 47 x 58.5 cm
Location: Dahesh Museum of Art, Greenwich, Connecticut, USA
“Dante and Beatrice 1915” by John William Waterhouse is an oil painting that depicts a passionate love story. The couple is separated by the river Lethe, where Dante kneels down. The right side of the river is barren, while the left side is brimming with flowers. This symbolic scene represents the journey from a sinful existence to a pure one. Dante and Beatrice, a modern romantic tale, is set in the midst of a garden.
Dante and Beatrice is a classic example of Victorian painting, with a dramatic and beautiful setting and rich color. The artists' work is often influenced by myth, poetry, and legend. Waterhouse was known for his skill in combining French and English styles. His paintings are a combination of intense, mysterious subjects, and painterly naturalism. His painting is a fusion of French and English styles, and the theme of spiritualized love, which Dante Alighieri celebrates in his poetry.
Waterhouse's Dante and Beatrice are two of Waterhouse's most popular paintings. His wife, Esther Kenworthy, a daughter of an art schoolmaster from Ealing, exhibited her paintings at the Royal Academy. Their children, Nino and Beatrice, both died in early childhood. As the couple moved to England, Waterhouse was promoted to full academician status at the Royal Academy of Art. He worked as an art teacher and joined the St. John's Wood Arts Club. She eventually became a member of the Royal Academy.