Theme page for art


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Theme page for art

  1. 1. Symbolism Symbolism is the practice of representing things by symbols, or of investing things with a symbolic meaning or character. Most of the flowers in Ophelia are included either because they are mentioned in the play, or for their symbolic value. Millais observed these flowers growing wild by the river in Ewell. Because he painted the river scene over a period of five months, flowers appear next to those that bloom at different times of the year. Shakespeare William Shakespeare was born on 26th of April 1564 and died on 23rd April 1616. He was an Englishpoet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre- eminent dramatist. He has written many plays and the most prominent themes throughout them include Tragedy, Romance and Comedy. In his time, Shakespeare wrote plays for both the rich and poor. Ophelia is a character in his play Hamlet. She is driven mad when her father, Polonius, is murdered by her lover, Hamlet. She dies while still very young in grief and madness. The events shown in Millais's Ophelia are not actually seen on stage. Instead they are referred to in a conversation between Queen Gertrude and Ophelia's brother Laertes. Gertrude describes how Ophelia fell into the river whilst picking flowers and slowly drowned, singing all the while.
  2. 2. Pre-Raphaelites The Pre-Raphaelite paintings were produced in incredible detail, direct from nature itself in the more traditional style of a 'finished painting' (in which the surface was polished) and over an extended period.When Millais was painting in the 19 century, it was common for artists to work outside and produce sketches, which they would then take back to their studio and use as reference to create a larger finished painting. They would sketch with drawing materials on paper, small panels (wood) or small canvasses (pieces of cloth), (see Materials & Techniques for more information). However, Millais and his Pre-Raphaelite friends completed their painting outside in the open air, which was unusual for the time. Nature Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. Nature refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. In Millais’ Ophelia he has created a painting where nature is recorded in photographic detail. He is able to record texture, colours and surfaces accurately and is considered to be one of the most successful painters who has ever lived. The art critic John Ruskin was a supporter and patron of Pre- Raphaelite art and considered truth to nature and hard to work to be the most important element in creation of paintings.