Search the collection

< Back to search results

 

Ophelia
painting

Hughes, Arthur
Europe, United Kingdom, England
1852

1955.105
First floor: Pre-Raphaelites

Oil paint
68.7 x 123.8 cm

More Details

Ophelia 1852
Arthur Hughes 1832-1915
Oil on canvas

Arthur Hughes was only 19 years old
when he painted Ophelia.
It is based on a speech in Shakespeare's play Hamlet.

Ophelia is driven to madness
by Hamlet's murder of her father
and rejection of her love.
We see her moments before she drowns.

Queen Gertrude's speech in the play,
describing Ophelia's death,
is inscribed on the frame.

Millais' famous version,
shown, coincidentally, at the same time,
depicts a later stage in the story,
when Ophelia's body floats on the surface of the stream.