Ophelia by John Evertte

She was ten years old, her first-year in England, 1990.

It was a Church of England school, where she came out from the chapel door, 20 to 30 meters of a long corridor, a long walk back to her classroom. But just before the art room there was the poster of “Ophelia” By John Everett Millais. She stared at the painting.

Just came out of her art lesson. She saw the poster again. Not knowing much about the painting at the time, but she knows it caught her eye. She decided to go and have another look! Standing right in front of it, the longer she looked, the more she fell in love with it.

A young lady with her delicate white skinned floating on the riverbank in the English countryside. The refreshing spring, green and earth scenery, a peaceful feeling that may bring from only by the hand of Mother Nature. The artist chose a vivid colour in showing the fine sunny day. I do not know the reason in which or why she was floating on a river. She looked lost, but the composition of the print gave me a strange feeling of calmness or even a beautiful harmony.

From looking into the details of her expression,
she was not in any way calm but lost.
Her lip was open, maybe speaking or trying to reach for air.
Her hands were spending out under the river, as she was ready for one to take her away from the loss. Her garland floating was right next to her.

The artist used the colour of red, the only hue colour in the painting. Floating fallen leaves at the right-hand side on top of the river. Where from far it looks, as it was part of the dress she is wearing, look deeper into the painting, sinking into the water.

Now, from knowing a bit more about the painting and it’s history. The symbolism or the iconic message one may take it. From the arts, writing and visual languages, all had their ways of composition meanings. Was it right to notice there was the balance of
The beginning and the end; The dark and the light;
The old and the new. Spring as the start of the year with the same moment of Ophelia’s life ends.

Was this one of the messages Millais was trying to communicate to his audience? Painting with realism photographic, it was a masterpiece of work, visually compelling! One should find it hard to take its eyes off it!

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