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

European Art

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

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Eugène Delacroix
French, 1798–1863

Date

1843, printed 1864

Medium

Black and white lithograph on wove paper

Accession #

73.47

Dimensions

7 5/16 × 10 1/8 inches

Location

Currently Not on View

Description

Ophelia, whose mind has become unhinged by the murder of Polonius, her father, and by Hamlet’s rejection of her, has fallen into a stream while picking flowers. As reported in Gertrude’s words, she drifted in the water “till that her garments, heavy with their drink, pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious lay to muddy death.”

Drawn in nuanced shadings of gray, the composition’s delicate beauty contrasts with the tragic event it depicts.

Credit

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

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