Pray Love, Remember
Pray Love, Remember
ELLEN TERRY as OPHELIA
from Hamlet by William Shakespeare
ELLEN TERRY is the most famous of the English Victorian actresses. By age 16, she was married to the artist, George Frederick Watts (though separated ten months later), and already launched upon a career of theatrical distinction. In her role as Ophelia, Ms. Terry was hired by and played opposite the famous British actor, Henry Irving.
To prepare herself for the role, Terry expained, “Like all Ophelias before (and after) me, I went to the madhouse to study wits astray.” She found however that “Strange as it may sound, they were too theatrical to teach me anything.…Then, just as I was going away, I noticed a young girl gazing at the wall. I went between her and the wall to see her face. It was quite vacant, but the body expressed that she was waiting, waiting.” Ms. Terry continues, “My experiences convinced me that the actor must imagine first and observe afterwards. It is no good observing life and bringing the result to the stage without selection, without a definite idea. The idea must come first, the realism afterwards.” A valid philosophy for painting as well as acting.
In keeping with the ethereal quality of an Ophelia gone mad, the color scheme of this piece is pastel and high key to imply the innocence of the character. Ellen Terry’s initial inclination was to wear black for her role of Ophelia. This was quickly quashed by Mr. Irving’s production advisor, saying, “My God! Madam, there must be only one black figure in this play, and that’s Hamlet!”
Pray Love, Remember is oil on board.
The painting is 25.5 x 32.5 inches; framed to 30 x 37 inches
Price includes frame and shipping (continental US).
The framed artwork will be securely packaged and shipped by UPS. You may also pick up the artwork in my studio in southwest Virginia.
If you would like to view the original artwork, please email me for an appointment. I'd be happy to show it to you.