The style feels like something more akin to the work of Lawrence Alma Tadema, with a strong influence from classical cultures, from the fashion to the architecture. This approach was also seen many times in the earlier part of Waterhouse's career before he moved on to domestic, British influences. There were many other artists working in a similar Neo-Classical or Orientalist approach around this time but it was starting to lose popularity by now. Some carried on regardless, whilst others decided to take new styles in their oeuvre in order to avoid seeing their careers stall. The composition itself features several women enjoying a local flower market whilst sheltering away from the fierce sunshine. Traders and customers interact in a leisurely fashion, whilst attempting to exchange some stunning flowers. A large cover of tarpaulin lies above their heads in this fairly simple but charming market stall.
Waterhouse himself was actually born in Italy and so was entirely familiar with Southern Europe, unlike many other exponents of this artistic style who were essentially creating scenes entirely from their imagination and literature, which may have been quite different to the reality of life in these regions centuries ago. The bright sunlight which saturates large parts of this region also allow the artists to really enjoy their use of colour, with bold palettes appearing which would not be appropriate if basing a work in the north of the continent. Within A Grecian Flower we find a seller sat down on the left hand side, no doubt because of the long days that she would spend near motionless, waiting for passing customers. Three other women surround her stall, playing and observing some of the different flowers that she has available.
The Laing Art Gallery is a small, regional venue that hosts an excellent collection of art, with the focus mainly on British painters from a variety of different genres. Laus Veneris by Edward Burne Jones, The Penitent by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Portrait of Mrs Leathart and Her Three Children by Arthur Hughes and Isabella and the Pot of Basil by William Holman Hunt are some of the highlights to be found here and those alone make a visit well worthwhile. Efforts are currently underway to attempt to make British art a little less concentrated in the capital city, spreading some of this great art into other parts of the country in order to better serve the nation as a whole.