Echo and Narcissus: John William Waterhouse

John William Waterhouse: Echo and Narcissus

John William Waterhouse’s Echo and Narcissus is a 1903 Greek mythological painting which depicts Echo, a mountain nymph who, after being caught fraternising with Zeus was punished by his wife Hera, so she could only speak the last words that were spoken to her.

After meeting the beautiful hunter Narcissus, Echo quickly fell in love with him. Not able to tell him this, and could only repeat Narcissus’s words that were spoken to her – leading Narcissus to fall in love with himself – which is where we we get the English word ‘narcissism’.

John William Waterhouse, a member of the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, painted a number of scenes from greek mythology.

Echo and Narcissus can be found in the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.

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