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Which clippings match 'Hamlet' keyword pg.1 of 1
11 NOVEMBER 2011

Ophelia re-visited through vacant expressions and alienating surroundings

"In 1851–1852 John Everett Millais painted a canvas that would become his most famous work: Ophelia. This compelling picture of the tragic heroine of Shakespeare's Hamlet, floating in the water, has inspired artists for generations. Striking parallels to Millais's oeuvre are to be found in the work of contemporary photographers, such as Rineke Dijkstra, Hellen van Meene, Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin. The influence of Ophelia is noticeable in the models' vacant expressions, the hushed atmosphere of the compositions and the alienating surroundings. ...

Ophelia is also referred to in film and pop music. For instance, Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue based their music video where the wild roses grow on the painting by Millais. Another example is the cover picture of PJ Harvey's album To bring you my love."

(Van Gogh Museum)

Fig.1 Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue (1996). "Where the Wild Roses Grow".

Fig.2 PJ Harvey (1995). "Down By The Water".

Fig.3 John Everett Millais (1851–52). "Ophelia".



alienating surroundings • artatmosphericattention to detailcompositiondeathfigurationfloatingHamlet • Hellen van Meene • Henry Tate Gift • homage • hushed atmosphere • Inez van Lamsweerde • influentialinspirationJohn Everett MillaisKylie Minogueluminositymusic video • Nick Cave • Ophelia • painting • PJ Harvey • pop music • Pre-Raphaelite • remixrevision • Rineke Dijkstra • serious subjects • significant subjects • To Bring You My Love • tragic death • tragic heroine • vacant expression • Vinoodh Matadin • water • Where the Wild Roses Grow • William Shakespeare


Simon Perkins
21 MARCH 2011

Mise en Abyme: the mirror in the text

"In a work of art, I rather like to find thus transposed, at the level of the characters, the subject of the work itself. Nothing sheds more light on the work or displays the proportions of the whole work more accurately. Thus, in paintings by Memling or Quentin Metzys, a small dark convex mirror reflects, in its turn, the interior of the room in which the action of the painting takes place. Thus, in a slightly different way, in Velasquez's Las Meninas. Finally, in literature, there is the scene in which a play is acted in Hamlet; this also happens in many other plays. In Wilhelm Meister, there are the puppet shows and the festivities in the castle. In Fall of the House of Usher, there is the piece that is read to Roderick, etc. None of these examples is absolutely accurate. What would be more accurate, and what would explain better what I'd wanted to do in my Cabiers, in Narcisse and La Tentative, would be a comparison with the device from heraldry that involves putting a second representation of the original shield 'en abyme' within it."

(Lucien Dällenbach, 1977 via Once I Metablog on Metafiction)

Dällenbach, Lucien (1977). 'The Mirror in the Text'. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Fig.1 Diego Velázquez 'Las Meninas'



1656 • Andre Gide • Diego Velazquez • Fall of the House of Usher • Hamlet • Hans Memling • heraldic shield • heraldry • infinite regressionintertextualityLas Meninasmeta-painting • metablog • metafiction • metaplay • metatheatre • metatheatricalitymirrormise-en-abyme • Quentin Metzys • recursionreflexivityrepetitionrepresentation • Wilhelm Meister • William Shakespearework of art


Simon Perkins

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