The Lady of Shallot

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

I went to a museum and was struck by the size of this beautiful painting, it was huge, I loved the small details in it, like the quilt draped over the boat, the candles, the wreath in her hair, the isolated magpie and golden detailing on her sleeve.

So I wondered what story is behind this?

I read, and it's like a magical fairy story, or a dark and twisted Disney Princess story, so I decided today, or tonight if it's night when you're reading this could be story time.

I'm going to tell you the sotry of the lady of Shallott...

The Lady of Shallot lives in a castle but is cursed by a myserious curse. Her curse means that she cannot look out into the real world, she must only see the world through a mirror. Instead she weaves images into her loom all day long and only glances out her window through a mirror to watch people pass by. But one day 'Sir Lancelot' rides by looking all bold, courageous and wonderful- the Lady of Shallot sees him, she could not help herself but to glance outside at him. The mirror cracks all over and she knows that the effects of the curse are upon her. Knowing her fate, she leaves her tower to find a rowing boat and sits in it, letting it float down the river. She arrives at Camelot where Sir Lancelot sees her body in the boat and says "God in his mercy lend her grace"

I didn't tell you that it was a happy story... maybe I should have warned you. If they made this into a Disney film I'm sure the prince would have found a way to break the curse!

The picture is really famous, I feel very lucky to have seen it in the flesh, it's so wonderful I wish I had a wall big enough to display it!


lady shallot pictures said...

This Waterhouse paintings is loved by Goths and depressives the world over as she goes onto to commit suicide over an unrequited love, how sad!

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