Waterhouse's Juliet tops pre-Raphaelite auction at Christie's

John William Waterhouse's Juliet has sold at the top of Christie's December 11 Victoria, Pre-Raphaelite and British Impressionist Art sale in London.

John William Waterhouse
John William Waterhouse continued the pre-Raphaelite style long after the movement had lost popularity

The piece is a unique composition and a rarity among Waterhouse's oeuvre. It sold for £962,500 ($1.5m), a 37.5% increase on its £700,000 high estimate.

Waterhouse (1849-1917) championed the pre-Raphaelite style long after it had fallen out of favour, earning him the nickname "the modern pre-Raphaelite". He is renowned for his lavish depictions of women, especially mythological figures, with the most famous his Lady of Shallot.

Despite Juliet being an obvious subject choice for the artist, he only painted her once. The painting was exhibited at London's New Gallery in 1898, the same year of his Royal Academy exhibition.

The record for his work is held by St Cecilia, which made £6.6m ($10.4m) in June 2000.

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