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Hamlet and Horatio Before the Gravediggers (Hamlet et Horatio Devant les Fossoyeurs), from the Hamlet series

European Art

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Hamlet and Horatio Before the Gravediggers (Hamlet et Horatio Devant les Fossoyeurs), from the Hamlet series

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Eugène Delacroix
French, 1798–1863

Date

1843, printed 1843–1864

Medium

Black and white lithograph on wove paper

Accession #

73.48

Dimensions

11 1/8 × 8 3/8 inches

Location

Currently Not on View

Description

Two laborers preparing Ophelia’s grave provide comic relief when they unearth and banter about the skull of Yorick, a court jester Hamlet had known as a child. Touched by memories, Hamlet sighs and says, “Alas, poor Yorick!”

Delacroix first developed this composition in 1839 for an oil painting. He adopted it for the lithograph with minor adjustments, such as a more dynamic stance and greater prominence for Hamlet’s figure.

Credit

Purchase in honor of Mrs. Robert Wells, President 1972-1973 of the Members Guild

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