Robert Westall. Ophelia.

Robert Westall's painting is one of the one hundred small prints from The Dramatic Works of Shakespeare, edited by George Steevens and published as part of Boydell's Shakespeare Prints. The engraving, by J. Parker, depicts Ophelia in Act IV, scene vii, of Hamlet. This is the moment when Ophelia reached to hang her flowers on a branch and "an envious sliver broke." The setting and the composition, with Ophelia either holding onto or sitting on a branch, became traditional in many paintings; for example, George Romney, in a painting now lost, showed her "leaning over Water, supported upon the Branch of a Tree; Ruined Buildings and Romantic Scenery in the Back Ground" (Altick 299).