The Lady of Shalott (1888) by the British painter John William Waterhouse (1849-1917). The Lady of Shalott" is a Victorian ballad by the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892) and tells the story of a noble Lady and her tragic love to the Arthurian knight Sir Lancelot. Like many of these Arthurian legends the subject was especially popular amongst the Pre-Raphaelites who did various paintings. Nevertheless I don't understand why Waterhouse is often called himself a Pre-Raphaelite. He had absolutely no relation to them and exploited only the popular subjects in a cheap way.
History painting dates back to the Renaissance and was long considered to be the "grand genre". Nevertheless it has its peak in the 19th century forged by Neoclassicism and Romanticism. There it became the artistic contribution in the process of the construction of National Identities of the European and American nations.
At the same time history painting under the influence of historism pretended to be "realistic", to show history how it has been. Above all it was this pretension that led to the great failure of History painting AND Realism at the end of the century.
When artists and their public realized that telling history always will be subjective and a painting will always be an illusion Realism and history painting lost their ground to modern painting.