Henrietta Rae1890

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

The heroine Ophelia was popular with 19th century artists. Rae shows the moment in Shakespeare’s Hamlet (Act 4, Scene 5) when Ophelia, mad with grief, symbolically scatters rue (a bitter-tasting herb), rosemary, pansies, fennel, columbine, daisies and violets. According to Rae’s husband, the artist Ernest Normand (1857-1923), this was painted under the influence of their neighbour, Frederic, Lord Leighton (1830-1896).

Show lessRead more


  • Title: Ophelia
  • Creator: Henrietta Rae
  • Date Created: 1890
  • tag / style: Henrietta Rae; Ophelia; Hamlet; narrative; Shakespeare; mad; grief; scatters; rue; herb; rosemary; pansies; fennel; columbine; daisies; violets
  • Physical Dimensions: w2305 x h1715 cm (Without frame)
  • Artist biographical information: Henrietta Rae made her name painting literary and classical subjects and portraits. She was married to the painter Ernest Normand (1857 - 1923). In 1893 Rae became the first woman to sit on the Hanging Committee of the Liverpool Autumn Exhibition, the annual exhibition held at the Walker Art Gallery. She also played a part in persuading Walker Art Gallery to buy 'The Punishment of Lust' by the then little-known Italian Symbolist painter Giovanni Segantini.
  • Additional artwork information: To learn more about this painting, please follow this link: http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/collections/19c/ophelia.aspx
  • Type: Oil on canvas
  • Rights: Purchased from the Liverpool Autumn Exhibition in 1890


Translate with Google