Can You Find Ophelia at the Tate Britain?

Hunt through the halls of the grand old London museum to track down John Everett Millais' Shakespearean masterpiece

By Google Arts & Culture

Ophelia (Around 1851) by Sir John Everett MillaisTate Britain

John Everett Millais' Ophelia of 1851-2 is regarded as one of the greatest artistic homages to Shakespeare, and a masterpiece of the Victorian era. 

The unforgettable image of young life extinguished has tugged at the heartstrings of generations since.

Ophelia is held in the collection of the Tate Britain, on the banks of the Thames at Millbank, London. The neoclassical museum is one of the largest in Britain, and houses a substantial collection of art made in the UK since the Tudor era.

Inside, artworks are hung scattered along the walls, 'salon' style. Ophelia is amongst them, but where has she wandered to? Stay on this slide, and point & click to explore the gallery.

"Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia, And therefore I forbid my tears"

Ophelia (Around 1851) by Sir John Everett MillaisTate Britain

Ophelia draws on the character of the same name in Shakespeare's Hamlet, who is apparently driven mad before falling in a river while picking wildflowers. To paint this enigmatic scene, Millais had his model Elizabeth Siddall lie fully dressed in a bath.

Millais accurately painted the flowers as described by Shakespeare - crow-flowers, nettles, daisies and 'long purples' - but he also added in red poppies, symbolic of sleep and death.

Thanks for joining the search for Millais' Ophelia. Why not take a tour of the rest of the Tate Britain? There are many more masterpieces to see!

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