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The Death of Hamlet (La Mort d’ Hamlet), from the Hamlet series

European Art
The Death of Hamlet

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The Death of Hamlet (La Mort d’ Hamlet), 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 #

73.49

Dimensions

11 3/8 × 8 1/16 inches

Location

Currently Not on View

Description

Hamlet and Laertes, Ophelia’s brother, mortally wound each other in a duel. Meanwhile, the queen has died from poison the king had intended for Hamlet. In the play, Hamlet kills Claudius before dying himself, but this is omitted in Delacroix’s version.

The action returns to the castle state room where it began. The actors now are precariously arranged along a descending diagonal, symbolizing the collapse of the ruling family.

Credit

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

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