John William Waterhouse. St. Eulalia. 1885. Oil on canvas. 74 1/4 x 46 1/4 inches. Tate Gallery, London.
According to Christopher Wood, Waterhouse's Roman period culminated in this painting and The favourites of the Emperor Honorius, a work that closely follows the approach of Alma-Tadema. In St. Eulalia, which " secured for Waterhouse his election as an associate"of the Royal Academy, the painter combined
a Roman subject with a Christian one, a device much used by later Victorian and Edwardian painters. The setting and the architectural background are typically Alma-Tadema, but the dramatically foreshortened figure of the dead saint is a bold and original touch. although recently martyred, the young girl's body shows no signs of torture or bloodshed. This kind of realism was not for Waterhouse. The semi-naked figure of an attractive girl, her long hair spread out around her, anticipates the nymphs and goddesses that were to populate his later classical pictures. For Waterhouse realism was always modified by his ideas of beauty, which were those of a conventional and decorous Victorian Royal Academician. Waterhouse could interpret a theme with considerable dramatic power, but he used realism only to heighten the imaginative and poetic mood, not to bring the ugly facts of life and death before our eyes. 
Hobson, Anthony. The Art and Life of J. W. Waterhouse, RA, 1849-1917. London: Studo Vista/Christie's, 1980.
Wood, Christopher. Olympian Dreamers: Victorian Classical Painters. London: Constable, 1983.