|Artist||James Dobie after John William Waterhouse|
|Published||Magazine of Art [c. 1892]|
|Dimensions||Image 225 x 152 mm, Plate 268 x 180 mm, Sheet 303 x 226 mm|
Mariamne (c. 57-29 BC) was a Hasmonean princess, who married Judean king Herod. The relationship soured when the king's fear of potential rivals let him to depose of many of Mariamne's relatives. On top of this Mariamne discovered that Herod had given orders to have her executed as soon as he died, because he did not want her to remarry. Herod's possessive nature was exploited by his mother and sister, who did not trust Mariamne, and whispered in Herod's ear that she was having an affair. Herod eventually tried and executed Mariamne for adultery. Legend holds that he preserved Mariamne's body in honey for several years after her death, because he still wanted to be able to look at her every day.
In Waterhouses painting, Mariamne is depicted walking away from Herod and his judges after her trail has ended. Herod wanted to condemn Marianne to life long imprisonment, but his sister Salome whispers in his ear and convinces Herod to have Mariamne executed.
James Dobie (1849 - 1911) was a British engraver who was born in Edinburgh, but worked on the periphery of London for a large part of his career. He was on the most part an etcher of landscape and genre scenes, and exhibited these works at the Royal Academy from 1885, until his death in 1911. He would often, but not exclusively, sign his engravings with 'J.D.'
John William Waterhouse (1849 - 1917) was an historical genre painter whose revivalist manner earned him the sobriquet of 'the modern Pre-Raphaelite.' Waterhouse was born of English parents in Rome. He studied under his father, who was a painter and copyist, before enrolling in the Royal Academy schools in 1870. He exhibited at the Society of British Artists from 1872, and at the Royal Academy itself, from 1874. Waterhouse was the most celebrated of the artists who, from the 1880's, sought to reinvigorate the literary themes popularised by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. In 1895, Waterhouse was elected to the status of full Academician. Though very much a Pre-Raphaelite in his choice of Greco-Roman and Arthurian subject matter, Waterhouse did deviate from the Brotherhood's technical approach to painting. Whilst his rendering of certain details was fastidious, his fondness for backgrounds conceived as blocks of colour and tone went against Pre-Raphaelite doctrine. These ultimately derived from the methods of European prototypes such as Jules Bastien-Lepage, which were transmitted to Waterhouse through his acquaintance with members of the Newlyn school. In the twilight of his career, Waterhouse taught at the St. John's Wood Art School, and served on the Royal Academy Council.
The Magazine of Art was an illustrated monthly British journal devoted to the visual arts, published from May 1878 to July 1904 in London and New York by Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co. It included reviews of exhibitions, articles about artists and all branches of the visual arts, as well as some poetry, and was lavishly illustrated by leading engravers of the period.