'Circe and Scylla', John Melhuish Strudwick

Painting of man and woman in a forest

George Holt discovered Strudwick’s work in the collection of rival Liverpool shipowner William Imrie at the Holmstead, North Mossley Hill Road. In 1890 he decided he wanted his own painting by the artist and purchased this subject, taken from Greek mythology as retold by the Roman author Ovid. The enchantress Circe, jealous of the maid Scylla with whom her favourite Glaucus has fallen in love, poisons the water in which Scylla is about to bathe, turning her into a sea monster. Following his acquisition of this work, in what was his most individualistic act of art patronage, Holt went on to commission three more paintings directly from Strudwick.

Artwork details

Medium: Oil on canvas
Date: 1886
Accession No: WAG 303

Painting moved to the Walker Art Gallery

This painting has been temporarily moved to the Walker Art Gallery for the 'Pre-Raphaelites: Beauty and Rebellion' exhibition, on display from 12 February - 5 June 2016.