The oil painting Ophelia 1910 by John William Waterhouse depicts a young woman in a red and blue dress, adorned with flowers. She is the most striking character in the painting, and takes up much of the pictorial space. The young woman is dressed as a mature woman, with her long red hair flowing freely around her shoulders. Her hand rests on a tree. The viewer is unable to help but admire the beauty and poise of the girl.
Waterhouse dedicates three paintings to Ophelia, the first in 1889 and the second in 1910, all depicting the tragic final moments. The two main paintings show Ophelia, the young woman, lying in a field, and the older woman sitting near a body of water. The mature woman looks directly at the viewer, seemingly questioning her choice. The narrator reveals that there is no reason to be mad or confused.
The second Ophelia is a much more concerned expression than the earlier version. She leans against a tree, holding a bunch of wildflowers. In the distance, a wooden pier stands, and a couple peer back at her with curiosity. Although the two paintings differ in style, both depict the same subject. The beauty of both works is evident in their respective styles.
The other image is of Ophelia. In the first painting, the young girl is swaying on a tree, with flowers in her hand. She holds a bunch of flowers as she tries to make sense of what is happening to her. The white roses by the shore of the river are a symbol of purity and detachment from the world. However, the roses represent the emptiness she feels and the regret she has felt about her decision.
The third painting shows Ophelia in a river. The brook is painted in blue tones, while a tree has its branches over her head. A wooden pier is visible in the distance. As a result of the pier's position in the river, Ophelia is drowning. The couple is unable to save her, but the brook and the couple are left to wonder how she survived. This scene is a classic example of the Shakespearean tragedy, which is the most famous and popular.