Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Ophelia by Millias from the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood

Hello everyone,

I have been thinking about my blog quite a bit recently and have decided that along with my regular features I want to do some more personal blog posts. I really want to start blogging about things I really love and I am passionate about so you can get to know a little bit more about me :). So far you probably know that I am rather obssessed with vintage and I am more than a little addicted to tea!  Something that you might not know about me is that I am an Art Historian! I studied the History of Art/ Art History at degree level and art is one of my biggest passions. I often post art based links on my Facebook page but it is not something I speak that much about on my blog. I spend lots of my time going to galleries and exhibitions and seeing works of art up close in the flesh so I thought I would share with you all some of my passion for art and some of my favourite artworks by writing a short piece about each. I hope that you shall enjoy these posts and also learn a little bit too :). Would love to hear what some of your favourite art works are :).

To kick things off I thought I would start with Ophelia (1851- 52) which is a work by Sir John Everett Millais who was part of the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood. The brotherhood was founded by Millais, Rosetti and Hunt and rejected the popular Renaissance style of painting in favour of work Pre Raphael hence the name of the group, The Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood. There is a big exhibition on the Pre Raphaelites at the moment in England at the TATE gallery so I thought this would be a good place to start. I am really excited to be visiting the exhibition in a few weeks time. Has anyone been to see it yet?

This painting is one of extreme beauty but also sadness. Ophelia is a character taken from Shakespeare's Hamlet who drowns herself in the stream. This painting is one of the most prized in TATE Britain and was given to the nation by Sir Henry Tate who made his fortune from sugar. The painting has been beautifully painted with an incredible amount of detail. Millias believed that every element of the painting should be painted with the same importance so the flowers in the background are as beautifully and delicately executed as Ophelias face and body. The river in the painting is in Surrey, England and was painted on site by Millais so that he could get all the details correct. Ophelia was then painted in his studio. The colours in this painting are so beautiful and luminous due to the new colours which were avaliable around this period because of the advances in technology particually in the production of chemicals needed to make these brighter more vibrant colours.

Hope you enjoyed this small intro to this work :) . Please let me know if you would like more infomation on the paintings in my future posts or if that was the right amount :)

The Dorothy Days


  1. That is indeed a beautiful painting. One of my daughter's favorite paintings is "Ophelia ('And He Will Not Come Back Again')" by Arthur Hughes. It hangs in the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio. That Ophelia is still alive, but it has a similar feel.

  2. This is a really beautiful painting and I can see why you like it. You are very luck to be able to view all of that wonderful work,I wish I was there!

  3. The Pre-Raphelites & particularly Ophelia are some of my most favourite works! I went to see some of their paintings at the Tate a couple of years back. I'm dressing as Ophelia for Halloween this year too :)

    1. Ophelia as a halloween costume is such a good idea!!!

  4. Wow, you actually picked one of my favorite paintings for your first one! And I'm a big fan of you doing art related posts. And more personal. Win-win for me!

  5. So glad to hear its a favourite of yours too, I think it is really beautiful. Thank you for the feedback on the post, I am pleased you like the art related posts :) !

  6. Great idea, Dorothy! While I did not study art, I always loved it and was somehow involved in it. I also love the new minimalism of your blog layout. Thank you!


Please leave me a comment (it makes me smile!)

Thank you!