Sweet Summerhouse is one of his most critically acclaimed compositions. In Sweet Summer, John William Waterhouse depicts a beautiful woman. The woman is semi-nude and lying in a garden. She is light-skinned, with straight dark hair. The heroine is wearing a long draping blue dress. Red fabric is tied around her waist. One of the sleeves of her garment is taken off, showing her breasts. One of her arms is over her head, and the other one holds a pink flower. She lays in a seductive laid-back pose. The position of her legs, one bent, showing the curves of her hips enhances the alluring nature of her pose. It also brings detail richness to the fold of her garment fabric. Her face looks down towards her feet.
This heightens the notion that she is not aware that she is being admired. At the bottom of the painting, next to the beautiful woman, is a beige hand fan. The color of the fan is consciously used to make it stand out from the green grass. Behind the woman is a concrete fountain spilling water through two small lion heads facing different directions. A large ceramic pot sits next to the fountain, in the background of the composition. The warm red-brown color of the paint brings contrast and warmth to this part of the composition. The bottom of Greek columns can be seen in the background. This is indicative of the presence of a large construction that is not entirely shown in the painting. On the backside of her head is a dark green rose bush with several pink blossoms similar to the one in her hand.
Towards the end of his career, John William Waterhouse painted several compositions of beautiful female characters in a similar way to Sweet Summer. Some of these paintings include; Spring Spreads One Green Lap of Flowers, Ophelia, and Narcissus. However, unlike this one, most of his paintings featured female characters from Greek Mythology, culture, literature, and Shakesperean works. John William Waterhouse often focused on the sensuality of the female figure. This subject matter is seen in this composition. However, it has and still is a cause for debate and a lot of controversies. Sweet Summer land is currently part of a private collection owned by the John William Waterhouse estate.