Simon Goldhill’s article, “The Art of Reception: J.W. Waterhouse and the Painting of Desire in Victorian Britain,” recognizes the significance of the male subject in Waterhouse’s oeuvre, writing, “His classical pictures in particular show a fascinating engagement with the position of the male subject of desire, which has been largely ignored in the scant discussions of his work.” Building on Goldhill’s statement, this paper argues that Waterhouse’s use of the female gaze objectifies the male and could be read as commentary on the rise of the male body as a spectacle in popular entertainment.
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