Half Sick of Shadows

 And music, went to Camelot:
Or when the moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed;
“I am half-sick of shadows,” said
           The Lady of Shalott.
This painting is to illustrate the Arthurian poem “The Lady of Shalott” by Alfred Lord Tennyson (1842). I was Inspired by having heard this poem through multiple songs and seeing the paintings done by Waterhouse. Saying that I still had to actually read it to get the story. 

The Lady of Shalott is the story about a woman living in a tower upstream from Camelot. She is stricken with a nameless curse that will take hold if she dares to look down to Camelot, to avoid this she sees the world through a mirror. So she sits day after day weaving her “web” looking at people passing as they journey to Camelot. 
This continues until one day she sees the Knight Lancelot and forgets the curse to run to the window (silly Victorian poets). The mirror then breaks and the Lady of Shalott; knowing she will die goes down to the river, writes her name on a boat, and lays down singing a mournful song as she travels to Camelot. When the people of Camelot find her she is dead. 

The idea that this woman would be so stricken and lonely that she would risk the unknown fate of a curse just to see Lancelot with her eyes just once was so heartbreaking to me. Which is why I chose that moment where she sees what would be her one happiness, I wanted to show a look of hope. As if the good Knight Lancelot would save her from her dreary existence.    

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