3 Ophelias by John Waterhouse

9 Paintings of ‘Hamlet’s Ophelia That Are Almost Better Than ‘Hamlet’

Daisy Ridley’s new film, Ophelia, an adaptation of Lisa Klein’s 2006 novel Ophelia, has just debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, and it’s got me thinking of the all the Opheliaphiles throughout history. The tragic heroine is one of, if not the Shakespeare character most commonly depicted in art. The incredible visuals surrounding her death—the garlands of flowers each of which carry a separate meaning, the river, her long hair, and beautiful gown—have captured artists’ imaginations for years, so here is a collection of some of my favorite Ophelia paintings. 

 

Ophelia by Constantin Meunier

 

Ophelia - Constantin Meunier

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Hamlet Act 4 Scene 5 by Benjamin West

 

Hamlet Act 4 Scene 5 by Benjamin West

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Ophelia (unfinished) by Jules Bastien-Lepage

 

Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848–1884), Ophelia (unfinished) (1881),

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Ophelia (1894),  Ophelia (1889), Ophelia (1910) by John William Waterhouse 

 

John William Waterhouse's Ophelia paintings

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Ophelia Drowning by Paul Albert Steck

 

Ophelia Drowning by Paul Albert Steck

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The Young Martyr/Ophelia by Paul Delaroche

 

The Young Martyr/Ophelia by Paul Delaroche

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Ophelia by John Everett Millais

 

Ophelia by John Everett Millais

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