Display caption

This is Mariana from Shakespeare’s play Measure for Measure. She leads a solitary life, rejected by her fiancé after her dowry was lost in a shipwreck. But she is still in love and longs for him. Mariana’s tired pose, her embroidery, and the fallen leaves suggest the burden of her yearning as time passes.The painting was originally exhibited with lines from Alfred Tennyson’s poem Mariana:She only said, ‘My life is dreary– He cometh not!’ she said;She said, ‘I am aweary, aweary–I would that I were dead!’

July 2007