April 20, 2011

Various - Ophelia's various photographic representations

Ophelia is one of Hamlet's character. Maybe one of the true beginning of romantism. You can read the complete story here. She's said to "have climbed into a willow tree, then a branch broke and dropped her into the brook, where she drowned". Not a suicide nor a murder as you can see. If Delacroix was the first painter in 1838 to represent this myth with the classic view of her body floating in the river among grass and trees, the John Everett Millais' representation 14 years later will be the most famous on which later imageries will derive. Here are some pictures providing a photographic equivalent to this painting tradition. There are maybe hundreds and I saw a lot of them but here are the only ones to fullfill my personnal criteria of quality. Among this series, 2 are rather known. The 3rd is from Tom Hunter, and the 5th from Nadav Kander. I don't think they are the best. However, it's strange this myth exerts still so much fascination on us. And very importantly, click on each picture to see them full size.

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