Lot 106: Henry Meynell Rheam (British, 1859-1920)
Fine British & Continental Watercolours & Drawings
November 9, 2004
London, United Kingdom
The Lady of Shalott
signed 'Henry.M. Rheam' l.l.
84 x 39 cm. (33 x 15 1/2 in.)
'She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces thro' the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
She look'd down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack'd from side to side;
The curse is come upon me!' cried
The Lady of Shalott.'
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, The Lady of Shalott, part III, verse V.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson's epic poem was the stimulus for many depictions of the fated heroine imprisoned and cursed; damned for an unspecified crime of the heart and consumed with an anguished love. In the present picture, Rheam gives a poignant and sensitive rendition of the beautiful and vulnerable young woman trapped for eternity within the tower.