I've just returned from a very fast trip to see the Waterhouse retrospective in Montreal and the Vermeer exhibit at the Met in New York - a whirlwind jaunt scheduled between Thursdays when I must be in San Francisco to teach my class.
What impressed me most about seeing the Waterhouse paintings in person is the incredibly precise control of hue and value the painter employs to create his striking compositions. I realized every reproduction I've even seen is grossly inadequate in both color and value - including these here. Waterhouse paintings in person have enormous ability to control how you look at them, even inch of composition is worked out and every shift of hue and value is set to create a precise experience of the spaces he creates.
And yes, I got to see 'my' mermaid painting, the same one I loved and copied at age 12.
Back in New York I had just a few hours to run through the Met - saw some old favorites, tried not to get distracted, and made it to the Vermeer collection even though I mistakenly wore new shoes and had aching feet.