His work reflected the beauty he saw in people, places, and things. He believed art has the power to touch people’s lives and change them for the better in many ways. Waterhouse's artwork was known to depict women from Arthurian legend and ancient Greek mythology. His painting of The Annunciation falls under the religious genre. The painting depicts the Virgin Mary and another woman figure assumed to be Angel Gabriel. Waterhouse’s portrayal of Angel Gabriel is against all other similar images that have portrayed the angel as male.
The painting captures Virgin Mary with one hand on her head and the other on her chest. The two hands portray different reactions. The hand on her head relays a somewhat lack of understanding and surprise as to why an angel has visited her. The hand on her chest could likely signify a gesture of gratitude or a display of humility. Despite the confusion, Mary’s face is depicted as composed. The setting scene of the painting is outdoors. The angel is seen to be holding a flower that could represent or signify that she delivers good news. The Virgin Mary is dressed in a blue gown, which relays that there is something heaven-like and divine in her. The illustration has her on her knees in a sign of respect to a mighty being in front of her. It is a description of the biblical announcement to the Virgin Mary by Angel Gabriel that she would conceive a child who would be the world’s saviour by the powers of the holy spirit. The painting has the inscriptions of a signature and date at the bottom right: J.W.Waterhouse.-1914
Waterhouse produced more than one hundred and ten artworks throughout his life as an artist. His work location was the United Kingdom, Rome, and London. Amongst his notable work was the Lady of Shallot Looking at Lancelot (1894), The Magic Circle (1886), A Mermaid, and Hylas and the Nymphs (1896). His style of painting was Romanticism. Other artists with paintings depicting The Annunciation include Edward Burne Jones (1879), Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1850), Ambrogio Lorenzetti (1344), Fra Bartolomeo (1497), Henry Tanner (1898) and Lavinia Fontana (1575). The painting is in a private collection. Waterhouse’s work is currently displayed at several major British art galleries. The author’s work is in the public domain in its country of origin.