The museum features many great PreRaphaelite paintings, including Ophelia by Sir John Everett Milais. Ophelia is drowned in the stream she lacked the will to climb out of. She had gone mad with grief when her lover, Hamlet, murdered her father, and so she resigned herself to death. In her hand she holds poppies for death, daisies for innocence, and pansies for love in vain.
Also at the Tate, a second woman of Shakespearean tragedy by Pre-Raphaelite Sir John Everett Milais: Mariana. Mariana is wearied by life, abandoned by her fiancé after her dowry was lost in a shipwreck.
John Singer Sargeant’s Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose transports us to a springtime garden in the Cotswolds where two children light Japanese lanterns at dusk.
Whistler’s Symphony in White No. 2 is a beautiful portrait of the artist’s lover, Joanna Hiffernan. Whistler’s artistic goal was to create beauty, and he certainly has with this portrait!
The Tate Britain also has an extensive collection of art by William Blake. My husband is greatly interested in his poetry and visionary paintings. His startling image Ghost of a Flea was on display while we were there.
Unfortunately, J. W. Waterhouse’s painting of The Lady of Shalott was on tour. I love this painting and I have been fortunate enough to have seen it years ago in London and once at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. A friend of mine, Soraya Homayouni, introduced me to this painting one inspiring afternoon. She showed it to me in a book and played for me Loreena McKennett’s ethereal voice singing the words of Tennyson’s tragic poem, The Lady of Shalott. A beautiful experience of art, music, and poetry.
The Tate Britain’s collection was lovely, and overall, very romantic!