Hylas and the Nymphs (1896)
by John William Waterhouse (England, 1849-1917)
The painting depicts a moment from the Greek and Roman legend of the tragic youth Hylas, based on accounts by Ovid and other ancient writers, in which the enraptured Hylas is abducted by Naiads (female water nymphs) while seeking drinking water.
Hylas, a male youth in classical garb, wearing a blue tunic with a red sash, and bearing a wide-necked water jar. He is bending down beside a pond in a glade of lush green foliage, reaching out towards seven young women, the water nymphs, who are emerging from the pond among the leaves and flowers of Nymphaeaceae (water lilies), including an early depiction of the yellow waterlily, Nuphar lutea. The nymphs are naked, their alabaster skin luminous in the dark but clear water, with yellow and white flowers in their auburn hair. They have very similar physical features, perhaps based on just two models.
Hylas is being enticed to enter the water, from which he will not return. One of the nymphs holds his wrist and elbow, a second plucks at his tunic, and a third holds out some pearls in the palm of her hand. The face of Hylas in profile is shadowed and barely visible, but the faces of the nymphs are clearly visible as they gaze upon him. The scene is depicted from a slightly elevated position, looking down at the water like Hylas, so no sky is visible. Hylas's position forces the viewer's focus onto the nymphs in the water and the lack of reference to his relationship with Hercules emphasizes that the narrative of the painting is not about Hylas's experiences, but about the sinister nature of the nymphs.
Rectangle Canvas Wrap
Gallery quality canvas print displays vibrant artwork that is built to last. Printed with HP Latex Inks that are fade resistant. Inks are water based and solvent free so rest assured there are no harsh chemicals in your home. Assembled with thick wood frame and glued wood core stretcher bars. All canvas prints are wrapped and shipped in fitted packaging
- Ready To Hang - Mounting hardware comes attached.
- Leveling Bumpers Included - For wall protection.
- Semi-Gloss Print - Increased vibrancy of artwork.
- Beveled Wood Stretch Bars - Make frame less noticeable on front of canvas.
- Industrial Strength Staples - Ensure a tight fit that is sure to last.