There is an activity and story which unravels as we place our eyes on this painting, which is typical of this artist's work. Mythology and symbolism were a big element of his content, though the way in which he delivered it with style and elegance helped to set his career out as unique.
Waterhouse sits on the outskirts of the Pre-Raphaelites, never strictly a member of the Brotherhood. This enabled him to impart a slightly different approach, whilst still taking the best that this movement had to offer. He could learn from the likes of Millais, Burne-Jones and the like but without just reproducing their styles.
This charming piece is placed at 1900 by some sources and 1905 by others. What we do know is that it was displayed at the Royal Academy and that the artist himself had a long running relationship with this powerful art institution. This piece connects with his Hylas and the Nymphs, which itself is amongst his most famous paintings.
When looking beyond the closely related members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, who else do these paintings remind us of? Perhaps the cherubs frequently used by William-Adolphe Bouguereau or maybe the swirling, intertwined figures of Gustav Klimt's The Kiss.