19th century

John William Waterhouse, Lady of Shalott, 19th ce.

John William Waterhouse, Lady of Shalott, 19th ce.

John William Waterhouse’s Lady of Shalott exudes emotions of regret and pain.The sorrowful girl is letting go of the chain- or is she holding on? The two extinguished candles in the boat conjure up memories of loss, while the third lit candle is fluttering. She is looking past the viewer, and below our world into a dark place. The cursed woman has just stepped into the boat knowing her certain death is approaching. This moment is described in the poem Lady of Shalott by Alfred Tennyso..

Lying, robed in snowy white
That loosely flew to left and right—
The leaves upon her falling light—
Through the noises of the night
She floated down to Camelot:
And as the boat-head wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her singing her last song,
The Lady of Shalott.

Here is a link to the full poem: