Romantic Art.

‘The Soul of the Rose’ is a painting by John William Waterhouse

Created in 1908 The soul of the Rose is by Waterhouse who was one of the lesser known artists of the British Romantic Movement. The painting is based on a poem called ‘Come into the Garden, Maud’ by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Sir John Everett Millais’ painting of Ophelia
(1851–2) is very well known and one of the most popular works reproduced. The scene depicted is from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act IV, Scene vii, in which Ophelia, driven out of her mind when her father is murdered by her lover Hamlet, falls into a stream and drowns. It was originally derived from Greek word ophelos meaning “help”. This name was probably created by the 15th-century poet Jacopo Sannazaro for a character in his poem ‘Arcadia’.


There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide,
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up;
Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes,
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element; but long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.  (Shakespeare).


Ophelia 1851-2 Sir John Everett Millais, Bt 1829-1896 Presented by Sir Henry Tate 1894