J.W. Waterhouse: The Modern Pre-Raphaelite

In keeping with our tradition of specialized tours linked to major arts and crafts exhibitions, we offered an adventure led by Peter Trippi, who curated J.W. Waterhouse: The Modern Pre-Raphaelite which focused on the Royal Academician (1849-1917) known worldwide for his romantic paintings of such iconic heroines as The Lady of Shalott and St Cecilia.

Though the major highlight of the tour was the chance to tour the exhibition privately with Peter, there was a great deal more.

In London we visited a number of sites of importance to Waterhouse including Art Workers Guild, Arts Club, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, Guildhall Art Gallery, Courtauld Institute Gallery, Emery Walker House, Linley Sambourne House, and the historic pub known as The Dove. We also visited several private homes and collections.

And we had a behind-the-scenes tour of Tate Britain with curator Robert Upstone, a stroll through the Bond Street and St James’s gallery district (including visits to Christie’s and Sotheby’s), and a tour through Waterhouse’s neighborhoods of St John’s Wood, Primrose Hill, and Kensal Green.

In the Cotswolds, we visited the famous country house, Buscot Park, now shared by Lord and Lady Farringdon with the National Trust.  We went behind closed doors to see portraits of family members painted by Waterhouse, the stunning “Briar Rose” cycle created by another Pre-Raphaelite, Edward Burne-Jones, and the family’s rich collection of Victorian masterworks.  Buscot is also known for its Renaissance Revival gardens, where we had time to wander before visiting Kelmscott Manor, the country home of the leading arts and crafts designer/author/socialist William Morris.

And another day was spent in Cambridge where we toured the Fitzwilliam Museum certainly “one of Britain’s greatest art collections and an architectural monument of the first importance.”  The glorious King’s College Chapel, which represents a highpoint in the Gothic architectural style that inspired Waterhouse’s was generation was a feature of the day.