|The Lady of Shalott. Painted 1888|
However unfashionable, I think it's time for a re-evaluation of some of this kind of painting.
Taking The Lady of Shalott at face-value, the thing that strikes me initially is - it is beautiful and radiates calm and peacefulness. In reality the story is nothing like that - she is about to drown herself. (See 'Ophelia' painted by Millais in 1852), a probable source of inspiration for this work.
- The characteristics of Pre-Raphaelite painting (and literature) are a directness and attention to detail and realism in a way that was last known before Raphael at the time of the High Renaissance. There was also a strong tendency towards medievalism as typified by this painting.
- The Lady of Shallot was depicted as one of the characters in the Arthurian legends with the Knights of The Round Table.