Lucien Pissarro (1863-1944)



From Jules Laforgue's Moralités Légendaire Tome II (1898)

Source: Moore, p.30

Wearing a loose Japanese kimono, so fashionable at this time, Pissarro's Ophelia stands by the water, with downcast head, plucking irises. The Greek goddess Iris was seen as a guide to the afterworld: "purple irises were placed on the graves of women in ancient Greece so that Iris would lead them to the Elysian Fields. The tradition continues to this day, as irises are frequently placed on the graves of young girls" (Cumo 532). This poignantly foretells her death, but gives hope of life beyond it.

  • Other Victorian artists' Ophelias
  • Image capture and text by Jacqueline Banerjee. [Click on the image to enlarge it, and mouse over the text for links.]

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