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Community › Stories › The quest for waterhouse's works, Part II    
Two Little Italian Girls by a Village (1875)
. Two Little Italian Girls by a Village (1875)
 
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Portrait of Mrs. Charles Schreiber (1912)
. Portrait of Mrs. Charles Schreiber (1912)
 
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Miss Betty Pollock (1911)
. Miss Betty Pollock (1911)
 
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Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May (study) (1909)
. Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May (study) (1909)
 
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Dante and Beatrice (1915)
. Dante and Beatrice (1915)
 
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ENLARGE: the lady of shallot original Original: The Lady of Shalott [On boat] 'THE LADY' IN LEEDS
I arrived in Leeds on a Friday night. The trip should've taken about 2 or 3 hours, but there was a major delay because of a train that broke down up ahead had to be repaired. The next morning, I took a bus to Leeds City Art Gallery to visit lesser known "The Lady of Shalott" [Looking at Lancelot]. The painting is hung almost at the entrance of the gallery, giving a comforting re-assurance that Waterhouse is still highly appreciated up here.

I never noticed it, but if you look carefully at the painting from the scan, you will see a circular pattern of lines that looks like someone vandalized the painting. When I asked, one of the guides at the gallery told me that it's a part of the painting. Waterhouse added this and several other elements to show the loose threads from the looms.

 
ENLARGE: psyche entering cupid's garden original Original: Psyche Entering Cupid's Garden ENTERING CUPID'S GARGEN
The next morning I took off early and headed for Preston to check out "Psyche Entering Cupid's Garden". The train ride took just about an hour from Leeds. I only had about 2 hours to track down the painting before my next train which were to be heading to Oldham so I was rather quick about this particular stop.

The Harris Museum and Art Gallery was a short walk from the train station in the center of town. Psyche located on the 3rd floor of the gallery (if I remember correctly). As much as I want to tell you something more exciting, I simply saw the painting and left the gallery about half an hour later. Since I was by myself, I could only take a picture of the painting by itself. Here it is...

 
ENLARGE: circe offering the cup to ulysses ( with alan brown)
Original: Circe Offering the Cup to Ulysses
ENLARGE: circe offering the cup to ulysses (with me)
Original: Circe Offering the Cup to Ulysses
AMAZING ALAN BROWN
My next destination was the setting for what is perhaps my most amazing experience with Waterhouse's works and no doubt one of my most amazing experiences of my life. I left Preston rather quickly in the afternoon for a short train ride to Oldham to see "Circe Offering the Cup to Ulysses", a painting, until then, did not grab much of my attention.

I arrived in Oldham at around 3pm when the morning turned to light snow. As anxious as I was, I stopped at a local bar for lunch. The friendly locals helped me with the exact location of Oldham Art Gallery. All in all, the gallery is about a 15 minutes walk from the train station.

Upon arrival, I casually browsed the gallery, but got more and more anxious as what I was looking for was nowhere to be found. I began to wonder whether or not I was in the right gallery. I decided to ask the two security guards sitting at the desk. They told me that Circe IS here, but has not been on display since August because the museum is having a modern art exhibition. Figure that! Talk about bad luck! I introduced myself and began to tell the guards my story, emphasized on the fact that I traveled "all the way from America" to see this painting. The next thing I knew, one of the guards reached into the desk drawer and fumbled around looking for something. Guess what happened next? He pulled out a set of key and asked me to follow him. We walked through several hallways and then downstairs into the basement of the gallery. This is not happening, I thought to myself. There they were, the rest of the paintings from the gallery. There must have been over a hundred of these neatly hung on racks after racks after racks. Alan Brown, the guard,and I started pulling out and putting back masterpieces after masterpieces. The meer fact of going through famous paintings that haven't been seen by anyone for 3 months was mind-blowing. Ten minutes later, Alan exclaimed "here it is!"

And there it was....HUGE!!! All of the sudden, Circe became one of my favorites. The low basement ceiling couldn't accomodate the 1.49m in height painting plus another 20cm or so of frame. For 3 months, no one in the world saw this beauty from Waterhouse and no one will have seen it for at least another 3 months and there I was... To say the least, I was completely in awe...beauty, size, and experience. I took a picture of Alan Brown with Circe and then he took one of me with her. Until this day, I still cherish this experience and will do so for the rest of my life.




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