John Everett Millais: Mariana (1851)

(Tate Britain, London, UK)

Another painting by the English painter John Everett Millais (1829-1896). This painting is based upon the character 'Mariana' from the play Measure for Measure from 1603-1604 by William Shakespeare. in the play Mariana was betrothed to Angelo but when her dowry was lost in a shipwreck, Angelo dumped her. After this she lives secluded in a country house, tormented by desires of her former lover, she seeks solace in devotion to the virgin Mary. Millais added the last part of the poem Mariana of Alfred Tennyson uit 1830 when he first presented this painting:

The sparrow's chirrup on the roof,
The slow clock ticking, and the sound,
Which to the wooing wind aloof
The poplar made, did all confound
Her sense; but most she loathed the hour
When the thick-moted sunbeam lay
Athwart the chambers, and the day
Was sloping toward his western bower.
Then said she, "I am very dreary,
He will not come", she said;
She wept, "I am aweary, aweary,
O God, that I were dead!"

Painting from 1851.