Hamlet and Ophelia

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1866


◦ Marillier, DGR: An Illustrated Memorial,137

◦ Sharp, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 198-199

◦ Surtees, A Catalogue Raisonné vol. 1, 110-111.

Scholarly Commentary

Production History

DGR was strongly taken with this subject, which he first dealt with in the early 1850s (see the finished drawing in the British Museum). A finished study for this later picture (dated 1865) survives. DGR sent it to Major William Gillum in early November. The watercolour was not executed until the next year, however. It seems to have been completed or nearly so by mid-March, although a letter to Deverell's wife of 25 September suggests that the picture was unsold at that point.

Frederick Hollyer (1837-1933) made three distinct reproductions from this work. He did a sepia albumin print of the finished drawing, apparently in 1865, a black and white albumin print of the watercolour, in 1866, and sometime later, perhaps even after DGR's death, a splendid full colour platinotype of the watercolour.


The picture illustrates the scene in Hamlet (Act III scene 1) , when Hamlet visits Ophelia in her oratory.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: s189.raw.xml