The under cabinet panels (half panels) are comprised of two tiles each, with a total panel length of 12 inches.
Waterhouse, The Charmer, Lamia
"The great scientific discoveries I am going to make," he went on, "will be about Magic. Magic is a great thing and scarcely anyone knows anything about it except a few people in old books -- and Mary a little, because she was born in India where there are fakirs. I believe Dickon knows some Magic, but perhaps he doesn't know he knows it. He charms animals and people... I am sure there is Magic in everything, only we have not sense enough to get hold of it and make it do things for us -- like electricity and horses and steam." (The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett)
The Greek version: Lamia was the Queen of Libya and Zeus's lover. When Hera found out, she killed Lamia's children and changed Lamia into a half-snake, half-woman monster. Lamia went mad and began murdering children herself. Zeus granted her the power of prophecy, second sight. However, she was cursed to never be able to shut her eyes.
But there's more! Keats version based on the Aristophanes version: A beautiful snake, Lamia meets Hermes who is chasing after a nymph. They strike a bargain: Lamia will give him directions to the nymph if he will change her into a woman. Hermes agrees, and Lamia transforms. When Lamia was in her serpent state, she had the power to send her spirit whever she wished. On one of her astral journeys, she has seen Lycius, a Corinthian philosophy student. Now that she is a woman, she appears roadside when Lycius is on this way to Corinth. As planned, he passes by and she ask him if he will leave her all lone where she is. One look and Lucius is in love, they walk to Corinth and move in together, avoiding everyone.
Lycius decides they should stop living in sin and invites all his friends (Lamia has none) to their marriage festival. She agrees as long as Apollonius is not invited. Lamiu conjures servants who decorate for the party in great splendor. Alas, Appollonius crashes the party and stares at Lamia, putting her on edge, so much so that all the feasting and music come to a halt. Lycius commands Apollonius to stop staring, and Apollonius calls a spade a spade, or in this case, a serpent a serpent. Lamia disappears, and Lycius dies on the spot.
I don't have much to contribute regarding The Charmer except to notice aloud that Waterhouse has an ongoing fascination with the act of charming itself in his many revisitations to the myth of Circe. I feel like there is a mythic backstory I'm not aware of. In The Charmer, the instrument the nymph, or perhaps the goddess Brizo, is playing to charm the fish is a kithara, a style of lyre that was played to accompany lyric poetry. She is not playing for her own enjoyment; the kithara was reserved for public concerts and choral performances. She is not happily playing to the fish. The fish are in a frenzy, drawn by the music, evocative of these lines from Yeats.
Imagining in excited reverie
That the future years had come
Dancing to a frenzied drum
Out of the murderous innocence of the sea.
Title: Charmers and Enchantments
Number of Tiles: four tiles (2 tiles per panel)
Size: Each panel is 8 x 12 inches.
Thickness: 3/8 inch (1 cm)
Price: $255, $490 (when sold as a set)
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