Before we masked up for Covid, covering the face had connotations. Here they’re explored, from the niqāb and widow’s veil to the aversion that makes us voyeur.
Paintings of the death of Ophelia, from the first by Delacroix in 1838 to an etching from 1889. The most popular scene which happens entirely off-stage.
Why would an artist compose a painting to hide the face? Examples by Degas, Anders Zorn, John Singer Sargent and others. It’s our faces that make us human.
Paintings of women covering their faces in embarrassment by Murillo, Gérôme, Corinth, and others.
Millais’ wonderful painting of Ophelia wasn’t the first such work. From West and Delacroix to Rossetti and Bastien-Lepage, here she is.
Many of the great painters have been migrants. Here are examples from Canaletto to Sargent. Suppress migration, and art will be stifled.
Known now from a single painting, she had a long, prolific, and successful career.