Waterhouse - Circe Invidiosa


(Invidiosa (latin) =jealous, envious, grudging)
The picture can be seen here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circe_Invidiosa
In the original painting Circe is standing on the head of a huge fish (or sea monster) which can´t be seen in our card. It was painted in 1892 and it was the second Circe (out of three) that he painted.

by the Roman poet Ovid, tells a story of a fisherman named Glaucus. A sea-god named Glaucus was enamoured with the beautiful Scylla and asked Circe for a spell to help in the courtship. Circe also loved Glaucus and in jealousy poisoned the waters where the beautiful maiden bathed. Scylla was turned into a hideous six-headed dog-monster. Needless to say, Glaucus soon lost interest.
Again the colors of the original painting are gorgeous and jewel like. Her dress has a stunning peacock like pattern in green and blue. The poison she is pouring is luminous turquoise -like a liquid jewel.

Some possible interpretations for this card:

* envy, jealousy, grudge (obviously..!)
* action; doing something to reach a goal or get what one wants
* magic; making a spell
* getting help from someone or using someone to get what one wants (the fish Circe is standing on)
* change, metamorphosis

seven stars

Before I read all this, this card was a bit confusing because it almost looked like she was making an offering, but that expression on her face wasn't a very peaceful expression.

Hell hath no fury.


I love this painting and have seen it once in-the-flesh at an exhibition here in London.
It's my all-time favourite Waterhouse.
Sadly - they didn't have any prints of it except for bookmark size. So now I have a framed bookmark on my wall, regrettably with much duller colours etc. (from a private collection - maybe they were greedy to share. :) ).

The greens and blues of the original painting were captivating (to me) - the crystalline beauty and mystery of water clearly communicated.
Circe is engrossed, wrapped in her poisonous envy. Is she "goddess or woman?" indeed?
And Scylla the monster to me is beautiful.

The Greek Gods = jealous children playing with their creations (us) like pieces on a chessboard.