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Closet Anorak & The Water Nymphs

Isn’t it funny how life comes in little clumps. You haven’t seen a friend for month and then you bump into them three days in a row. You discover a new favourite Instagram account, and a week later it becomes the next big thing online. Sometimes it’s just because you start noticing something more because you’re looking for it – like when a friend is having a baby, and suddenly you see pregnant women everywhere – but sometimes it really is the peculiar coincidence of a clumpy universe. Last month I gave a talk about the renaissance reception of the story of Echo and Narcissus from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Because talks are always better with pictures, I illustrated mine with an image of JW Waterhouse’s Echo and Narcissus on the big screen. The choice was anachronistic of course )I was talking about the 17th C, and Waterhouse’s painting was executed in the early 20th C ) and whimsical; I chose it because I like it. In the Q and A after my talk the subject shifted to the painting itself an…

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