Ophelia by John Everett Millais

Oil on canvas, 762 x 1118 mm, 1851/2, Tate Britain, London
John Everett Millais [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This is one of my favourite Pre-Raphaelite paintings, the detail achieved by Millais is stunning and the depiction of the slowly running water is fantastic. Millais tells the tragic story of Ophelia in a way that some find uplifting Hawksley states “Millais’s painting should be about death and misery and madness, but it always evokes in me positive associations”. (http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/articles/john-everett-millaiss-ophelia).

It is not difficult to see why some find positive aspects in the painting with the bright colours and intense detail of the flowers and leaves. Nevertheless the expression on Ophelia’s face, to me indicating a real sadness, portrays the tragedy of the scene.

My notes on the painting are here: Ophelia