Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 109 x 189 cm
Location: Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, Merseyside, UK
Artist John William Waterhouse painted the tragic story of Echo and Narcissus in 1903. This work exemplifies his neo-classical romantic realism, featuring beautiful figures, soft colours, and an unwavering sense of realism. Waterhouse created many paintings featuring nymphs and their tragic love affairs. However, this one of his most popular works is not yet well-known.
Waterhouse is renowned for depicting beauty in his works, and this is evident in “Echo and Narcissus.” The nymphs, or beautiful women, are portrayed as sultry and sexy, with soft robes and a partially exposed bosom. The painting's high level of realism and story-telling skills make it a favourite with art lovers.
While the motifs of the painting are familiar, Waterhouse used his skillful use of light and colour to retell stories and myths. His work was heavily influenced by classical mythology, particularly the story of the beautiful Narcissus, the son of the river god Cephissus and the nymph Lyripe. The poet also depicts the beauty of the nymph in her naked form, allowing her to act as a central character in a complex narrative painting.
Although she was a jilted lover, the mountain nymph had a cursed fate. Hera took away her voice, so she could only repeat the last words of others. Despite this, she was already miserable before Narcissus broke her heart. This is perhaps the main reason for the work's success. It's hard to get this right. However, the work of art is truly remarkable.
The story of Echo and Narcissus was based on the Greek myth of the same name. In the myth, Narcissus, the beautiful son of the river god, was rejected by many women who fell in love with him. The nymph Echo, however, was unable to make love to the man who rejected her. In the end, the goddess Nemesis listened to the nymph's plea for revenge and arranged for Narcissus to fall in love with his own reflection. He then continued to gaze at the mirror until he died.
Despite his rejection by his lover, Narcissus becomes obsessed with his own reflection. His self-absorbed nature leads him to fall in love with his reflection, only to realize too late that he was in love with himself. Eventually, he dies, and the flower of his name was born. The narcissus flower has been the symbol of love for centuries. There are many versions of the story, but none are quite like the classic version.