Inventory number
P04623
Author
Rosales Gallina, Eduardo (Spanish)
Title
Ophelia
Chronology
1860-1871
Technique
Óleo
Support
Lienzo
Dimensions
60 cm x 95 cm
School
Española
Theme
Paisaje
On display
No
Provenance
Museum of Modern Art

This painting depicts the discovery of the dead body of Hamlet's beloved Ophelia, floating in the river after she fell from a weeping willow, which she had climbed in order to hang a garland of flowers. The painting, which has sketchy brushstrokes, reveals the impact that William Shakespeare's work had on Rosales.

Working with extremely thin paint that allows the canvas's priming to act as an expressive element, Rosales uses rapid, confident black lines to compose the figures profiles and the scene's profound realism, including the bloated belly of the drowned protagonist. Yet this realism and its concrete reference to the literary landscape contrasts with the inclusion of a male figure, who simply doesn't exist in the original text.

This work was acquired from María de Mora y Aragón on 28 January 1965 for the Museum of Modern Art.

 
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