Oh Ophelia


This wonderful piece of art is called ‘Hamlet’, Act IV, Scene 5, Ophelia. It was created by Ferdinand Piloty II and can be viewed as a part of the Royal Shakespeare Company in the The National Inventory of Continental European Paintings.

I believe that the line of the play that best corresponds with this painting is:“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray,  love, remember: and there is pansies. that’s for thoughts.”

I think that perhaps the author’s interpretation of Ophelia is more “Gaia-esque” or more “Mother Earthy.”She is holding flowers and even though my botany is not up to date, I think that she is holding some pansies and some rosemary.

The dark colors in the painting all seem to blend together to create a moss green. This is so dramatic to the point that the water is even the same shade of green as the plant life that surrounds it. Moreover, the contrast in Ophelia’s white robes and her dark surroundings emphasizes her figure as an angelic figure or goddess. This effect can most readily seen  in this painting below.  Think that Piloty was going for the same effect.








2 thoughts on “Oh Ophelia

  1. alexanderober April 10, 2016 / 1:31 pm

    Hey Tyler! Your post is pretty awesome. Your word choice, especially in the third paragraph, is just classic Tyler. Blunt and concise, that’s what you want. The one distinction between Ophelia in this painting and the portrayal of angels that I observe is one you alluded to. I think Ophelia is much closer to the earth whereas angels tend to float above ground in order to emphasize their supernatural nature.


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