Manchester Art Gallery


See paintings differently

#MAGfiction is a new weekly series of very short stories inspired by the paintings in our collection, from Patrick, one of our Visitor Services team. We’ll be posting these on Twitter and Instagram every Friday.


Arthur Hughes Ophelia

“But mother, why?” the Princess protested. “For the future of the kingdom,” the Queen replied sternly. “Now pull yourself together and act like a princess. The sooner you get started the better.” The princess sighed heavily. She sat down by the pond, a look of disgust curdling her face and, one by one, began to kiss the frogs.

Words by © Patrick Kelleher in response to Ophelia by Arthur Hughes, 1852
Currently on display in Gallery 7.


Marcus Stone A Passing Cloud

Mister Hampton was a fellow of moderate income and in practically every aspect, acceptable to Polite Society. Miss Lamb’s father approved the match. Now engaged, Christian names were allowed. Miss Lamb, Harriet, however, foresaw a shadow of ruination. “I could never marry anyone whose first name was Dwayne,” she said with a hint of pride and prejudice.

Words by © Patrick Kelleher in response to A Passing Cloud by Marcus Stone, 1891
Currently on display on the balcony.


John Everett Millais Winter Fuel

The woodcutter and his daughter were collecting firewood for winter. He wouldn’t let her accompany him into the forest. “It’s too dangerous,” he said. “Wait here. I won’t be long.” She waited patiently for hours but he didn’t return. A howl rose from the trees. The wolf, too, needed winter fuel.

Words © Patrick Kelleher in response to Winter Fuel John Everett Millais, 1873
Currently on display in gallery 7.