Wednesday, November 4, 2009

John Hamilton Mortimer - Ophelia

From The Art Institute of Chicago: Mortimer's Twelve Characters of Shakespeare

"One of "Twelve Heads" depicting characters from Shakespeare. ... John Hamilton Mortimer's engraving of Ophelia depicts her in white, with a crown of flowers and a basket of rue, rosemary and flowers under her arm. ..."

"Mortimer (1740–1779), a painter, draftsman, and printmaker who enjoyed considerable patronage in his own day, was known for his flamboyant personality, radical politics, and extravagant imagination. He depicted monsters, Shakespearean subjects, and picturesque banditti. He also produced imaginary portraits of famous artists and more conventional images, such as seascapes. Mortimer's interest in emotionally charged subjects, such as 'Death on a Pale Horse' (Revelation 6:8), and in portraying episodes from British literature and history proved as influential as his personal character, which established him as an archetype of the Romantic artist." - Canter Arts Center (Stanford University)

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