Reflecting on death and transience, Prince Hamlet and his friend Horatio are alone in the cemetery. They only learn of who the grave belongs to when the funeral procession for Ophelia, Hamlet’s lover, appears. Horatio stands firm and exalted. The prince, holding the court jester Yorick’s skull, seems to almost slide off the sloping slab into the grave – an indication of his imminent death. In the painting, which was rejected by the Paris Salon jury, the French artist shows Shakespeare’s protagonist as a typically romantic hero: sensitive and melancholy, isolated and introverted.