He cometh not, she said


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When Millais first exhibited this painting at the Royal Academy, he displayed it with these lines of Tennyson instead of giving it a title:

She only said, ‘My life is dreary-

He cometh not’ she said

She said ‘I am aweary, aweary –

I would that I were dead.’

–From Tennyson’s poem Mariana

For more, read this page at the Victorian Web: Literary References and Mood in ‘Mariana’

2 thoughts on “He cometh not, she said”

  1. This is one of my favourite pre raphaelite paintings. I remember going to the National Gallery especially to admire it and finding in its place a sticker saying it had been lent to a museum in Sydney or Melbourne… what a disappointment!
    I love the magical coloring of the whole scene, the depiction of the first of autumn (since there are leaves but also lots of light and myriads of colors), Mariana’s dress and her natural pose, unique in the history of painting.


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