Ulysses and the Sirens (1891) by JW Waterhouse is a vintage Victorian Pre-Raphaelite fine art painting. In Greek mythology, the Sirens (Seirenes) were Naiads (sea nymphs) who lived on an island called Sirenum scopuli which was surrounded by cliffs and rocks. Approaching sailors were drawn to them by their enchanting singing, causing them to sail on the cliffs and drown. Odysseus escaped the Sirens by having all his sailors plug their ears with beeswax and tie him to the mast. He was curious as to what the Sirens sounded like. When he heard their beautiful song, he ordered the sailors to untie him but they ignored him. When they had passed out of earshot, Odysseus stopped thrashing about and calmed down, and was released. About the artist: John William Waterhouse (1849-1917) was an English Preraphaelite painter most famous for his paintings of female characters from ancient Greek mythology and literature.