Saturday, December 26, 2009

Montréal - Christmas trees and the wonderful Waterhouse exhibit

Beautiful Christmas trees can be found in the lobby and halls of the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion - Montréal Museum of Fine Arts through 3 January 2010. (The 35 trees were decorated by local groups that reflect Quebec's cultural diversity.)

Below are photographs of signs for the John William Waterhouse exhibition - Garden of Enchantment - I found amongst the Christmas trees.

But, you need to cross the street and enter the Jean-Noël Desmarais Pavilion for a visit to the wonderful exhibit (showing through 7 February 2010).

If you look closely in through the windows at the far right of the photograph above, you can almost :) see part of a display of exhibition catalogues in the lobby at the entrance to the gift shop.

After going up to the third floor, these beautiful banners greet you at the entrance to the exhibit (the door to the left furthest away).

We aren't allowed to take photographs in the exhibiton galleries ... but, I found the two below that some brave souls had taken of Waterhouse's 1894 and 1888 versions of The Lady of Shalott.

This is the first time all of Waterhouse's paintings of The Lady of Shalott have been exhibited together. The first one shown above is the 1894 version and, of course, the other is his 1888 version. Also in this room of the exhibition, hung to the left of the 1894 painting, is Waterhouse's third version, "I am Half Sick of Shadows," said the Lady of Shalott (1915). To the right is a study for the 1894 version.
In the second photograph, you can see Tennyson's poem, The Lady of Shalott, has been displayed on the wall. Then at the lower left of the photo is a darker area which I believe is the large, round, black cushioned seat in the middle of the room.

"Waterhouse owned a copy of the collected works of Tennyson, the pages of which are covered in sketches for future illustrations. [his lovely book is on display as you enter The Lady of Shalott room] He painted three episodes from this poem: the Lady setting out for Camelot in her boat in 1888; the Lady as she turns to look at Lancelot through her window, 1894; and “I Am Half-Sick of Shadows” in which the Lady sits wistfully before her weaving loom in 1915." - Cheryl Van-Buskirk & Emily Rice

Seeing all of the paintings together was such a wonderful experience. I hope to share more about my trip to Montréal and the Musée des Beaux Arts in another posting.
If you haven't already read it, Matthew Innis has written a very interesting and informative piece about the exhibition: A Visit with Waterhouse: My trip to Montreal.

Photographs courtesy:
1. wallyg - taken August, 2009
2. proacguy1
3. & 4. Photos taken by Cathy
5. A.M. Kuchling - taken October, 2009 (the sign wasn't there when I visited in December)
6. cbransto
7. Photo taken by Cathy
8. Brave soul 1
9. Brave soul 2


  1. Wow, thanks for sharing this exhibition with beautiful! And the Christmas trees...I just love them too ;O) But is you 'between the hearts'?

  2. Hi Aputsiaq ... happy you enjoyed the posting.
    No, tis not me with the hearts. :)
    It's from 'cbransto' - number 6. under the photo credits.
    I need a better camera :) ... so, found some photos from others who had been to Montreal.
    Glad to have you back and sharing new and wonderful postings!
    Happy New Year!