ARTiculation Prize 2018 participant, Rosa from Manchester, was awarded the which she used to visit Millais’ Ophelia. Below she talks about seeing the painting for the first time:
My interest in Millais’ Ophelia began when I started researching representations of Ophelia in art after I had seen her character in Hamlet. Despite constantly seeing images of the painting in my research, it was amazing to observe Ophelia up close whilst surrounded by the works of other artists caught up in the Pre- Raphaelite movement of the 1840s. The painting was far smaller than I’d expected and its size added to the fragility of the scene, making Ophelia’s character seem even more precious and tragic. Taking Turner’s advice to ‘go to nature’ seriously, Millais surrounds Ophelia with clusters of brilliant blue, white and red flowers and the bough of a willow tree, in which he painted en plein air. These details could not be fully experienced if I didn’t have the chance to visit the Tate Britain, so thank you again. I recommend that any person, whether an artist or not takes the time to visit a piece of artwork that interests them; seeing the composition in person stimulates new inspiration and provides you with a fresh perspective.