In 1916, John William Waterhouse concluded the oil painting called A Tale from the Decameron, during the last year of his artistic production. As an artist of the second generation of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, Waterhouse valued the portrayal of Arthurian legends, as well as mythological themes from the ancient Greeks. The British painter had an academic background, studying at the Royal Academy of Art in London, but later on adapting to the ideals of the Brotherhood.
In A Tale from the Decameron, Waterhouse illustrates a scene of a storyteller, considered an artist. According to the title, the young man on the right of the composition is telling a tale from Giovanni Boccaccio’s collection of fictional narrative prose called the Decameron, which was written in the fourteenth century. The storyteller is dressed in a fashionable manner, with brown leather boots, a pair of skin-tight pants with vertical white and red strips, as well as a red blouse and hat to match. He holds one hand in the air, as to accompany his narrative and a lute – a musical instrument similar to a small acoustic guitar – in his other hand. The man sits on marble steps next to a fountain, of what seems to be a beautiful ancient construction, while another figure sits behind him, attentive to his words. They both sit on a decorative carpet that lays down from the steps onto the grass.
Four beautiful women are sitting in front of the storyteller, listening attentively to his every word. The young woman on the far right is wearing a purple dress, leans her head on her hand as in a daydream while holding a red rose. The second lady to the left is wearing a golden decorated dress with bright red sleeves and a small crown on her head. The other two women are also in typical garments of the Arthurian period and seem enchanted by the man’s story. On the left side of the canvas, in the forefront, another lute can be seen laying on the grass. Behind the four women, a younger girl can be seen, also sitting on the grass, but distracted by the flowers she picks from the ground. The far background shows a beautiful garden with a couple taking a stroll.
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Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of A Tale from the Decameron 1916, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of A Tale from the Decameron 1916 that you would like the artist to work from, please include it as an attachment. Otherwise, we will reproduce the above image for you exactly as it is.
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