Perhaps the most famous literary drowning of them all, immortalised in Millais’ painting, though the effect is somewhat dampened – if you’ll forgive the pun – when you realise poor Lizzie Siddal modelled for it in a cold bath. But the pity and beauty of Shakespeare’s poetry can withstand even that Pre-Raphaelite passing-off: “Her clothes spread wide; And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up … but long it could not be Till that her garments, heavy with their drink, Pull’d the poor wretch … To muddy death.”
Mr. Day emphasized that he has more in mind than presenting an exquisite table. “The thing that has been ignored by the art-history world is what these objects were used for, their function,” he said in a telephone interview. “My whole career within the museum sector has been based on trying to get precious objects out of the display cases and onto the table to show how they were used.”
Ted Loos: Setting a Place for History, in: nytimes.com, 2013-02-21.