Monday, 25 April 2011

Ophelia by Mallais

This is one of my favourite paintings, combining several loves of mine, Shakespeare, nature and the Pre-Raphalites. Shakespeare was a frequent source of inspiration for Victorian painters, and Mallais illustration of Ophelia's tragic death in Hamlet, is one of the best known Pre-Raphelite works. What captures me about this image is the colour plallet employed. Soft pastel colours are juxtaposed with deep shadow and the dark murky water, creating a mood of great sadness and truth. It opitomises the Pre-Raphelite notion that respectable divine art could only be achieved if the artist focused upon the truth and what was real in the natural world.


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