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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Gothic bands and art vol.3 (Christian Death)

We have talked about the great impression the Pre-raphaelites had on gothic rock imagery in previous posts.
Here's another example again on the same theme of Ophelia. 
In 1985 Christian Death released an EP titled "The Wind Kissed Pictures". 
On the cover a John Everett Millais painting against a dull red background. At least that's for the early vinyl pressings on the italian label Supporti Fonografici, as later the cover was changed...

The painting in question is indeed titled "Ophelia" and was painted between 1851-52 by one of the great artists of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, John Everett Millais. It's subject was taken by a description in the Shakespearean play "Hamlet". Ophelia's death has been praised as one of the most poetically written death scenes in literature.
As a model for the unfortunate daughter of Polonius, a girl named Elizabeth Siddal was used. The myth goes that another artist of the movement Dante Gabriel Rossetti was present when she posed in a hot bath at Millais studio for the purposes of this painting, and fell in love with her. She later became his muse and wife but her ill-health betrayed her soon...

The Pre-Raphaelites took their name due to their denial of the mature phase of Raphael works and their desire to depict nature in a more accurate way. That is obvious in this painting if you take a closer look at the vegetation details that surrounds the poor lady. 
Some suggest that through the plants a careful eye can discern a hidden skull...

In 1995 Nick Cave w/ Kylie Minogue were inspired by the painting also as it's so obvious in the video of "Where the Wild Roses Grow"...
Check video here:

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