Hylas and the Nymphs

Hylas and the Nymphs

Hylas and the Nymphs is not one of John William Waterhouse’s most well known works, however it is a prime example of his skill as an artist and therefore has received very little negative comment since its completion in 1896.

Taken from the story of Jason and the Argonauts, Hylas was an Argonaut warrior and the assistant and lover of Herlkas. He was also known to be a very handsome youth.

When Jason’s boat landed on an island during his search for the Golden Fleece, Hylas was sent to fetch water for the camp. Finding a pool in a clearing, he reached down and put his pitcher into the water. Before he could lift his pitcher he looked up to discover water nymphs encircling him. Drawn by his beauty, one of the nymphs reached up to kiss Hylas.

The tale stops there and Hylas disappeared without trace from that moment, it was said that Herlkas searched the island for his beloved, in fact such a time passed that the boat left without him.

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