Ophelia’s Flowers
Ophelia’s Flowers

Ophelia’s Flowers

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  • 70cm x 70cm on 4cm deep edge canvas
  • Oil on Canvas
  • 2021
  • Signed on the front
  • Please email info@elliecontreras.co.uk for more info


At the top of this painting are the words “There’s Rue for you, and here’s some for me”.  If you know your Shakespeare, you will recognise this as a line from Hamlet when Ophelia in her madness sings bawdy songs and hands out symbolic flowers.

In this painting I have depicted Ophelia gathering her flowers, carefully choosing the ones that would communicate what she has been unable to say because of her position and gender. Among the flowers is the herb Rue, Shakespeare’s intended meaning behind this choice is ambiguous. The word ‘Rue’ comes from the Old English word hreowan, meaning “to make sorry,” so the Rue herb is a symbol of regret but since it was used at that time for its abortive effects, is Ophelia also commenting on the danger of becoming an object of desire? I wanted to maintain the mystery of this in my painting, the expression on Ophelia’s face as she looks at the Rue in her hand indicates regret, but it is up to the viewer to wonder why.

I have depicted Ophelia from a female perspective, how I think women should be represented, not overtly sexualised, meek and decorative but powerful and ‘taking up space’ literally filling the canvas in an uninhibited pose.

For UK customers the painting will be sent ready to hang in a box. If ordering from outside the UK the canvas will be sent rolled in a tube with the wooden stretcher bars which will need to be re-assembled and re-stretched (Shipping cost is included to Uk and £35 to everywhere else)


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