Ophelia (art) - digital painting of a doll by Barbara Agreste


Earth is a painting of a doll on the floor, from "The catharsis of Ophelia" series, oil on canvas by Barbara Agreste.

oil on canvas
90 x 84 cm


 This painting is about the earth. It is so because the earth is the place that welcomes all of us when we are unable to stand, or walk. When we have a problem with our balance, the earth is there to protect us, and will guide us through the recovery of our right senses, and of our conscious life.

When I made this painting I was excited about the outcome of the doll’s body, it was an incredible discovery that I could render the lights, and shadows of the feet, legs and trunk so well, so naturally, with no need to make things perfect, and with just a few brush strokes, things would come out so plausible. I decided then to make the face, and it hasn’t turned out to be so convincing.

But I did not want to change it, because I thought perfection in  this case was not needed: we have the face of a puppet, and the atmosphere of this painting is uncanny, wants to be sinister. Therefore why to make the doll’s face more human?

The message is one of “transformation of pain”, “transfiguration”, so even if the nose wouldn’t return a mathematical perfection in its lightings, I left the features distorted intentionally, so the sensation that some sort of unstable dream is going on stays with the viewer.

I wanted to create the flashback of a dream: the picture is like a film frame that would pass, like a lightning strike,  trough the length of the film, a sudden opening of light into the unconscious mind of the viewer/author/protagonist.

This earth painting is one of a series of paintings that represent the concept of ground as an important resource of reconstitution. It is the ever resting place for the body: in my imaging a ground not very detailed, rather blank and anonymous, but yet still very present and important for understanding the transitional state of the Nigredo.


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Dolls - Ophelia (art, paintings) series by Barbara Agreste