Hamlet: Prince of Denmark

Various artists/makers

Not on view

Influenced by the innovative graphic artist Aubrey Beardsley, Austen devised striking black-and-white illustrations for this luxury edition of Hamlet. These two images, placed at the start of act 5, encapsulate the tragedy’s dramatic conclusion. At left, Hamlet stands in a trance by the grave of his rejected lover, Ophelia, with disembodied heads of the departed floating above near the skull he famously contemplates in the play. At right, the bodies of the prince and Ophelia’s brother, Laertes, lie limply together after their fatal duel.

Hamlet: Prince of Denmark, John Archibald Austen (British, Kent 1886–1948 Kent), Illustrations: process prints

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