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The Reproduction Process

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Gather Ye Rosebuds study 1908

In 1908, John William Waterhouse painted his first artwork inspired by the poem “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time” by the writer Robert Herrick in the seventeenth-century, entitled Gather Ye Rosebuds. One year later, the artist concluded a second painting based on the same poem called Gather ye Rosebuds while ye may, which portrays many women gathering blossoms on a beautiful open field with towering trees and clear streams of water.

Herrick’s work speaks of life’s briefness and the importance to live in the moment, for the moment – one of the most famous poems that speak of carpe diem. This concept derives from the Roman lyric poet Horace, who lived in the Augustus period. Before the final painting was made, Waterhouse made a Study for Gather ye Rosebuds with some changes. The study simply shows a woman holding a bundle of flowers in her arms while in an ambiguous environment that seems to be indoors, but shows part of the sky as well.

In Gather Ye Rosebuds, Waterhouse depicts a beautiful woman holding a shiny silver bowl filled with pink rosebuds. Her hands delicately grasp the object while she raises her chin and looks directly at the viewer’s eyes. Different from the study, the model seems much more mature. Waterhouse paid attention to the details of her face to grasp the viewer’s attention, like her slightly open lips, her rosy cheeks, and how she seems to glare at the audience from above. The model wears an expensive and regal gown. It is green with golden flower patterns. Following the fashion of the time, she has golden bejeweled cuffs on her arms, and her sleeves open to layers of fabric – the first one is bright red, contrasting with the rest of the clothing. Her thick brunet hair is pulled back and embellished with white beads.

The composition is centered on the woman from the waist up. The background features a dark wall behind the model and a mirror that takes up about a third of the top of the canvas and shows part of the surroundings. The light source revealed in the reflection shows beautiful stained glass windows with two colorful family crests. There is a dark blue curtain, and some violet flowers on the right and the back of the model’s head can be seen to the left.

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Gather Ye Rosebuds study 1908 John William Waterhouse

Item Number: 13998768 show sizes in cm
Painting Price: $386.99
you SAVE 55% Compared to Local Galleries $696.58
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