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"Tristan and Isolde with the Potion" (c1916) by John William Waterhouse.

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Isolde was the daughter of Angwish, King of Ireland. She was betrothed to King Mark of Cornwall. King Mark sent his nephew, Tristan, to Ireland to escort Isolde back to Cornwall. Tristan (Tristram) whose name means "sorrow", given to him because of the loss of his mother at his birth, was a noble knight.

Before leaving Ireland, Isolde's mother gave a love potion to Isolde's handmaiden with strict instructions to keep it safe until they reached Cornwall. It was then to be given to Isolde on her wedding night. Sometime during the voyage, Isolde and Tristan drank the potion by accident and fell forever in love.

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