Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Baronet, PRA ( June 1829 – August 1896 ) was an English painter and illustrator and one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
This was the first exhibit in Japan to introduce all parts of Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Baronet, PRA ( 1829 – 1896 ).
His painting, "Ophelia" is considered to be one of the best masterpiece paintings of British Art. It is usually stored at Tate Britain Gallery in London, England.
From 6/7/2008 to 8/17/2008, Kitakyushu City Museum is leasing Millais 80 paintings.
The painting depicts Ophelia, a character from Shakespeare's play Hamlet, singing while floating in a river just before she drowns. The scene is described in Act IV, Scene VII of the play in a speech by Queen Gertrude.
She was a girlfriend of Hamlet. She became mentally ill when she learned her boyfriend, Hamlet,killed her father. She has flower garland in her right hand and it is floating in a river before she drowns. She was trying to hook that garland on to a branch of a tree. It gave away, and she fell into a river.
The flowers shown floating on the river were chosen to correspond with Shakespeare's description of Ophelia's garland, however they also reflect the Victorian interest in the "language of flowers", according to which each flower carries a symbolic meaning. The prominent red poppy—not mentioned by Shakespeare's description of the scene—represents sleep and death.
The painting was beautiful and pretty much detail oriented. You need to get close to see the perfect brush strokes at the flower garland, fresh green leaves, and Ophelia's dress. A true beauty of the painting can only be fully appreciated up close in person.
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