Thursday, 9 February 2012

They crawl from the oceans to paint in the caves.

When I lived in Manchester, if ever I was feeling unnerved or restless, whenever I was feeling stuck in a creative rut and uninspired I would head down to the Manchester City Art Gallery.

My desired destination hung three quarters of the way around the main exhibition on the ground floor and waiting silently for me would be the beautifully tragic Ophelia, a small but powerfully moving piece by the Pre-Raphelite painter, Arthur Hughes.

Very different from John William Waterhouse's Ophelia,  created in 1852 this painting shows Hamlet's young girl moments before she enters the water.

I always wanted to reach inside and hold her back.

Like any gallery painting, you can not see or feel the effect it has unless you visit the painting itself but I can not begin to explain the peace I felt whenever I stood in front of it. 

Thank the Lord for Art Galleries.


  1. I love images of Ophelia, and The Pre-Raphelite's are beyond brilliant.

  2. I know, they were incredible painters. I think there is another PR painting in the MCAG. A darker and bigger painting of a woman looking out at a stormy sea waiting for the safe return of her sailor. I can't remember who she is but she's equally as beautiful as little Ophelia. I miss that Gallery and I wish I could paint half as good as that!