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The Death of Ophelia (Mort d’Ophélie), from the Hamlet series

European Art

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The Death of Ophelia (Mort d’Ophélie), from the Hamlet series

Artwork Details


Eugène Delacroix
French, 1798–1863


1843, printed 1864


Black and white lithograph on wove paper

Accession #



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Currently Not on View


Ophelia, whose mind has become unhinged by the murder of Polonius, her father, and by Hamlet’s rejection of her, has fallen into a stream while picking flowers. As reported in Gertrude’s words, she drifted in the water “till that her garments, heavy with their drink, pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious lay to muddy death.”

Drawn in nuanced shadings of gray, the composition’s delicate beauty contrasts with the tragic event it depicts.


Purchase in honor of Mrs. Robert Wells, President 1972-1973 of the Members Guild