Ophelia was a character from Shakespeare's Hamlet play and this painting from Millais shows her singing whilst drowning in a small river in Denmark.
There is an incredible beauty to this painting which have made it one of the biggest draws within the current Tate Britain collection, even though Millais is not as well known as some of the other artists found there.
For those unable to get to Tate Britain in London to see the original, you can enjoy it here within Millaisophelia.com.
Millais Ophelia will not come up for sale anytime soon, if ever, due to it's importance to British art history and it's prominence within the collection of Tate Britain.
If there were ever a sale of this painting it is likely to sell for at least £30m although in the excitement of a rare sale, the price could even rise considerably higher than that.
The original Ophelia painting measured 76.2cm x 111.8cm and was created by the artist over the years of 1851-1852 having put an incredible amount of study and preparation into this painting which he was confident would be a major part of his career up to the point, and in this case he was entirely correct.
Elizabeth Siddal served as the patient model who spent a long time in the real river where the painting was prepared and her image has now become most memorable within British art as the model for Ophelia.
Millais Paintings cover the mid to late 19th century and were integral parts of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood art movement which centered around the UK.
Sir John Everett Millais was in fact one of the very founders of this movement which included other artists like William Holman-Hunt, JW Waterhouse, James Collinson, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
The painting has gone on to achieve great success thanks to the pure beauty of it, helping Ophelia to be referred to in many recent media creations including Hamlet (1948) and Dante's Inferno, amongst many others.
New generations to visit the Tate Britain continue to be drawn to it's timeless style that shows no sign of losing importance. Many of the Pre-Raphaelite paintings have recently gained in popularity.
On it's initial launch the painting was shown off at the Royal Academy in London where most major Pre-Raphaelite artists were to be seen at that time. Most critics did not see quite the same beauty and brilliance that people see today and were uncomplementary about this latest Millais painting.
John Ruskin, one of the most influential art commentators of that period even left negative views on it having been a big fan of Millais for many years.
The Ophelia painting has helped to draw attention to the British Pre-Raphaelite movement which received international interest from Japan, amongst others.
As a result the painting itself has been put on display there several times in the last few years and it is interesting to see Japanese acceptance of European art when of course so many in Europe have appreciated Japanese art in return for many years.
Another admirer of this painting was Salvador Dali who wrote several times about it in his diaries and few opinions in the art world carry more strength than his. It was this work which attracted the artist to the Pre-Raphaelite artmovement as a whole and he found particular interest in the glamorous women which were a major part of so many of it's art works.
The Ophelia Millais painting is an absolute spearhead of British art and few other paintings attract as much attention at the Tate Britain as this.
For those who look to buy their own reproduction copies of the original painting, we recommend framed giclee art prints which best match the colours chosen by the artist and these are available from the links included within this website which take you through to the Art.com Millais prints gallery.
List of Famous Sir John Everett Millais Paintings
Please see below for a summarised list of the best Sir John Everett Millais paintings that are featured throughout this website.
- A Huguenot on St Bartholomew's Day
- Christ In The House Of His Parents
- The Return of the Dove to the Ark
- Ferdinand Lured by Ariel
- The Order of Release
- The Proscribed Royalist
- The Rescue
- The Blind Girl
- Peace Concluded
- Autumn Leaves
- Sir Isumbras at the Ford
- The Vale of Rest
- The Black Brunswicker
- The Eve of Saint Agnes
- Portrait of the Marquess of Lorne
- The Boyhood of Raleigh
- Victory O Lord!
- Portrait of Effie Millais
- The Two Princes Edward and Richard in the Tower
- The Northwest Passage
- Cherry Ripe
- The Ruling Passion
- Portrait of Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery
- A Jersey Lily: Portrait of Lillie Langtry
- The Grey Lady
- Effie Deans
- Self portrait
- John Ruskin