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John Everett Millais-The Artist and Ophellia

Updated on February 24, 2014

The Artist and Ophellia

If you want to feel moved by art study John Everett Millais' art as it expresses inner emotion. I have never seen a painting that haunts me more than Millais' "Ophellia". To be able to paint the haunting experience described by Shakespeare is remarkable to say the least. Millais was also known for his wonderful attention to detail which I discuss more below.

Drop down to see what I mean in both the image and a detail of the expression on Ophellia's face.

If there was a plant to be painted in the painting of Ophellia, it was painted as it truly was. Personally I think this was his best work.


Sir John Everett Millais P.R.A. (1829-1896)




as you enjoy my lens.

You can also purchase Sarah Brightman's music below.. smile.


Great John Everett Millais stuff from Amazon

Sir John Everett Millais - A Bit of Controversy

Sir John Everett Millais was born in Southampton in 1829 to well known successful people. He was always considered to be very talented by them and they did what they could to give him the finest training in art. While in school he became lifelong friends with Dante Gabriel Rosetti and they would later be instrumental in creating the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhod.

Millais had/has wonderful attention to detail in his painting time and therefore his works has some amazing scenes. He was known to paint outside landscapes in summer and in winter he would add the figures. He was a hardworking artist determined to create great art.

He said of his technique: "For my own part, I have often been labored, but whatever I am I am never careless. I may honestly say that I have never placed on idle touch on canvas; and that I have always been honest and hardworking; yet the worst pictures I ever painted in my life are those into which I threw the most trouble and labor, and I confess that I should not grieve were half my works to go to the bottom of the Atlantic-if I might choose the half to go."

Millais married prominent art critic John Ruskin's wife Effe shortly after a holiday spent together. They had 8 children together. Ruskin continued to support the artist's work none the less.

Millais' style changed after that due to finances. He paid less attention to the detail he had in the past and relied on portrait painting more. The world may have lost some great paintings because of his path in life as his work continued to decline. He was approached by Queen Victoria in 1896, who asked if there was anything that she could do. Millais asked if his Effe wife might be accepted by her, as she had been excluded because of a scandal associated with the annulment of her first marriage. She was then known as Lady Millais. He died a few months later from throat cancer.


The image is

'Ophelia' from William Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' who driven out of her mind by Hamlet's neglect and the murder of her father drowns in a stream ...


Millais' extraordinary painting of Ophelia's death by drowning, taken from the "off stage" description in Shakepeare's Hamlet. Here, she drifts on her back, held afloat by her voluminous skirts as Shakespeare described.

I Will Follow You Into the Dark - and Wedding Toasts For the Foolish

by Kathy Ostman-Magnusen

Considering Ophelia and lost love I have added this poem to this lens.

Dark wanderers flooding the night

Celtic tattoos pasted on the moon

dark poetry looming the skyline

looking for free recipes

for dreaming.

I will follow you into the dark

music without lyrics

wedding toasts for the foolish

of folly

whenever you call me.

Angels and airwaves

ancient healing

finding their way to me

despite my loss of

internal exploration at times

my heart does beat for their caresses.

Give me ultimate pleasure

or little tunes of hope

free games

or a Potter Trailer

from Autumn to ashes

so flowers can sing

I will follow you into the dark.

Nothing is so soothing

as whispers in the dark

saying we'll be fine.

Dark Fairy

elusive blossom

brings me printable gifts

and unique birdhouses

pictures of kittens

cats adorned with jeweled collars

kitty beds with pink ribbons.

Isn't that a fairies duty?

Making sure the flowers are content

not held captive

so fairy tales come alive?

Gifts on our back porch

despite the odds of feeling neglected

whenever my name is forgotten?

Fantasy fairies meet the darkness


as they find out who their friends are

secret friends

meeting fantasy art of exotic women

while forever pretending

only to be within docile pages

of the tattered book left on the table.

Dark Fairy

a queen between the lines

let out of page 765.

Despite my attempts to draw her in

unafraid to meet the present

laced by melodies

a musician's friend

Dark Fairy steadied her eyes on prizes.

Strong for mere determinations sake

she rises to meet her buried pride.

Everyone knows she says


all who become wild women will one day be

female super heroes.

And with that printed inside her book of tales

she met the flowers ransom.

ABOUT Kathy Ostman-Magnusen: I am an artist, represented by Monkdogz Urban Art, New York. ORIGINAL ART may be purchased through Monkdogz:

FREE ART GIFTS, suitable for children plus prints, giclees, cards, available on my website:

The IMAGE is of my sculpture "Bleeding Wings5"



Detail of Ophellia

The expression.. it just breaks my heart. It is so touching.

Detail of Ophellia

Detail of Ophellia
Detail of Ophellia

Neon Travels Far and Wide - Yet Only in Her Mind

by Kathy Ostman-Magnusen

The IMAGE is of my sculpture "Bleeding Wings5"

Neon Blue is a "fictitious" character. She is the misunderstood in all of us and exactly as you perceive her to be. She is you and she is me, if you choose to attach yourself, even temporarily, to her emotions and discontent.

Neon Travels Far and Wide - Yet Only in Her Mind

Neon Blue came through an open window

beam of energy

she illuminated the room

with her screaming discontent.

Wounds too deep to dismiss

I could only hope to not make her shadow

mine own

while wondering if I could run far enough.

Born with a melancholy

that's what she told me

poetic moment

creating a romantic moment

out of the most disturbing chaos.

Never quite able to feel her wings

distracted by all those voices.

Various victims never noticed

outside her greying eyes

and misunderstood memories.

Neon Blue

so full of regret

the laughing was never loud enough

parties always started without her

even within her presence.

Parties are most fun

when anticipated upon

I guess.

A dreamer

prima dona

she simply could not help herself.

I'd like to say I understand her

but I confess

I never really will

no matter how many chances

colors on canvas

pen to paper

poetry of perplexing moments

I afford myself to do.


I remember her reaching out

chatting it up the mornings

hoping for glaring possibilities

to shine though

freshly cleaned windows

where lonely souls groom.

Sometimes I think of her


efforts on my part eventually

drained too dry to care.

Voices are within reach I guess

but at the moment

I count on past excuses

and make no contact at all.

There are adventures to be had

around any corner

all we have to do is decide to visit them.

Neon Blue so wanted to dance

experience a waltz without end

a party everlasting.

So sorry dear...

I tried.

Note: Neon Blue is a fictitious character. She is the misunderstood in all of us and exactly as you perceive her to be. She is you and she is me, if you choose to attach yourself, even temporarily, to her emotions and discontent.

ABOUT Kathy Ostman-Magnusen: I am an artist, represented by Monkdogz Urban Art, New York. ORIGINAL ART may be purchased through Monkdogz:

FREE ART GIFTS,suitable for children plus prints, giclees, cards, available on my website:

Blessings to the romantic in us all.. Kathy

Quick, what do you think of John Everett Millais?

See results

Millais' "Ophellia", the most touching painting ever! (?)


Sarah Brightman

The song "Ophelia"

There are many versions to this song

B4 U leave how about taking a few simple polls? &Don't forget to tell me you were here/thumbs up?

Poll 1 of 3

Every heard/seen of Millais' "Ophellia" ?

See results

Poll 2 of 3

How old was Ophelia in Hamlet?

See results

Poll 3 of 3

What happens to ophelia In hamlet?

See results

Thank you!

Thanks for viewing my lens, signing my my guestbook, taking my polls and if you gave me a thumbs up (top left) triple YAY!

Share your stories, sightings, thoughts, rants, raves...

Shout Out For John Everett Millais!

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    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 

      6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Loved the detail in his paintings. The expressions are wonderful AND the children are adorable! Angel blessings.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 

      6 years ago

      john e. millais, you're a great artist. squidangel blessings.

    • OrganicMom247 profile image


      7 years ago

      Nicely done the paintings are great and the poems were amazing. Great work!

    • kathysart profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      Thank you for visiting my lens.

      Learn more about another one of my favorite artist,

      Camille Claudel



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