A more famous version was completed in 1892, Circe Invidiosa, which is John William's second depiction of the traditional character. This mythological portrayal is founded on Ovid's tale, specifically where Circe turns Scylla to a sea giant just because Glaucus ignored his romantic advances hoping to attract Scylla's love instead. Circe Invidiosa is among the amazing art collection of South Australia’s Art Gallery. Circe Invidiosa invokes restlessness and a strong sense of menace upon viewing. Just by a glance, you notice a tall, elegant woman whose head tilts forward, holding a bowl of liquid and pouring it into the water below. There is a shadowy shape at her feet as the background of the twisted foliage depicts the dark theme. According to the original Greek myth, Circe as a goddess and sometimes a sorcerer, understood magic and herbs necessary for potions. As a result, she was considered the Goddess of witchcraft. In the painting, we see her tipping poison in the water below to transform her enemy Scylla into a monster (depicted by the fish-like shape below her feet).
Waterhouse is known for creating paintings in the Romantic style. Like his other works, he created Circe Invidiosa in oils and canvas, bringing out a natural and realistic setting. Based on his other works, we notice that Waterhouse is fascinated with beautiful heroines and portrays the theme using vivid colour schemes, beautiful light as well as symbolism. The talented artist created luminous porcelain skin for the Goddess, making her more fashionable. He managed to bring out a tall and beautiful woman with a dark theme, giving reasons why he is referred to as a Pre-Raphaelite painter.
Waterhouse was influenced by a lot of great artists before him, especially those from Renaissance and Classical schools, particularly those who shared his love of realist and colour composition. One of them is Alma-Tadema, a Dutch artist who played a vital role in influencing John William's style. The two artists use the same classical composition in some of their works. There are also some similarities in Leighton's and Waterhouse's work. Leighton studied across Europe, embracing Renaissance and Classical styles and we can see why he was a great influence on William's work. Waterhouse was fascinated by ancient myths and legends. Most of his work is based on stories that feature beautiful females and tragic love stories. Waterhouse and his magical work influenced many great artists. Some decided to follow his path and find inspiration in myths and legends. Waterhouse's influence in art is greatly felt even today. You might also like Alphonse Mucha who produced the likes of Monaco Monte Carlo, Moon and Moon and Stars.