John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836-1893)
The Lady of Shalott
Oil on canvas
The subject of the dead Lady in a boat or barge floating down the river inspired Edward Robert Hughes, William A. Breakspeare, John La Farge, and John Atkinson Grimshaw. This theme interested artists because of the sensuality suggested by dead Lady’s recumbent body and the decadent attraction of the union of death and beauty, sensuality and spirituality.
John Atkinson Grimshaw painted the dead Lady of Shalott floating down the river in her funeral barge after having done a similar painting, Elaine, in 1877. Both paintings convey the atmospheric stillness of the dead lady as she floats through the night.