Visual Analysis Ophelia

Topics: John Everett Millais, Emotion, Tate Britain Pages: 2 (608 words) Published: November 11, 2012
“Ophelia” by John Everett Millais is a piece depicting a Shakespearean play Hamlet painted in 1852. The paintings medium is oil on canvas. The iconic character Ophelia is in a contradicting situation that causes her to be bewildered and deranged. Which has made her a complex character and someone many people can connect with. In the scene that Ophelia is being depicted, Ophelia falls over into a pond when she suddenly becomes overwhelmed with the grief of her father’s murder and her lover deceives her. She is so overwhelmed she is heading for her fatal destiny. In such a complex situation the artist uses fine detail to reenact this moment. The painting shows an aesthetic style that is simple and exotic. The scene of the woods is a simple idea but it is exotic because of the attention to so much detail of the plants, water, and trees. It is also beautiful even though it is lacking excitement because there is no movement in the painting. The scene almost looks like it is being played out, using the visual elements Millais creates a set. The colors are primarily a dark shade of green even though there is a light value to the painting. The viewer can see that the scene is during the day but with lifeless plants. The dark shades give the viewer the idea of darkness and misfortune. Even though there are many dark shades, there are array of hues from the flowers she has previously picked with contradicting colors makes a asymmetrical balance. This could symbolize that picking flowers was her last resort of happiness, her last fight to some joy to life. When the flowers fell into the water, she decided to give up. The woods are created with such fine detail, making the scene feel so real giving the viewer more of an emotional bond. John Everett Millais used high finish for his texture which the blending of brush strokes gave him a extremely detail piece that looks life like. Millais also uses a linear perspective to display a illusional three dimensional...
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