Mariana (Millais)

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John Everett Millais - Mariana - Google Art Project.jpg
Artist John Everett Millais
Year 1851
Type Oil on wood (mahogany)
Dimensions 59.7 cm × 49.5 cm (23.5 in × 19.5 in)
Location Tate

Mariana is an 1851 oil-on-wood painting by John Everett Millais. The image is based on the solitary Mariana from William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, written between 1601 and 1606. In the play, Mariana was to be married, but was rejected when her dowry was lost in a shipwreck. The painting is regarded as an example of Millais' "precision, attention to detail, and stellar ability as a colorist".[1]

When it was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1851, the display caption contained lines from Tennyson's "Mariana" (1830):

    She only said, 'My life is dreary,
      He cometh not,' she said;
    She said, 'I am aweary, aweary,'
      I would that I were dead!'

Mariana may have been painted as a companion piece to Claudio and Isabella (1850) by William Holman Hunt[2]
External video
Millais's Mariana, Smarthistory[3]


  1. ^ King, Sally. ""Aweary" and Waiting: John Everett Millais's Mariana". English 156 / History of Art 152, Brown University, 2007. Retrieved on 21 October 2007.
  2. ^ Fowle, Frances (December 2000). "Sir John Everett Millais, Bt Mariana 1851". The Tate. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "Millais's Mariana". Smarthistory at Khan Academy. Retrieved January 22, 2013. 


  • Mariana 1851. Tate Gallery display caption, July 2007.
  • "Millais: An Exhibition Organized by the Walker Art Gallery Liverpool and the Royal Academy of Arts London", January–April 1967. London: William Clowes and Sons, 1967.