Madeleine Emerald Thiele

The Victorian Butterfly muses upon Art, Angels & other stuff in between.


Art Writing

Aesthetic Flowers

You have heard, I think, a few of you, of two flowers connected with the æsthetic movement in England, and said (I assure you, erroneously) to be the food of some æsthetic young men. Well, let me tell you that... Continue Reading →

Walter Pater on Leonardo’s Mona Lisa

The presence that rose thus so strangely beside the waters, is expressive of what in the ways of a thousand years men had come to desire. Hers is the head upon which all 'the ends of the world are come,'... Continue Reading →

Bede Griffiths’ Angels and Birds

One day during my last term at school I walked out alone in the evening and heard the birds singing in that full chorus of song, which can only be heard at that time of the year at dawn or... Continue Reading →

Ruskin’s The Scenery of Storm

But the preparation for the judgement, by all that mighty gathering of the clouds; by the questioning of the forest leaves, in their terrified stillness, which way the winds shall go forth; by the murmuring to each other, deep in... Continue Reading →

Jonathan Richardson on Raphael’s St. Peter and the Angel

Had Raffaele done this only to show his Art in the Management of the Clair-Obscure, had it been a Jeu d' Esprit, in Painting it had been much less considerable; but That moreover contributes vastly to the Expression, That fierce... Continue Reading →

Sweetness and Light

The pursuit of perfection, then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light. He who works for sweetness works in the end for light also; he who works for light works in the end for sweetness also. But he who works... Continue Reading →

Ai Weiwei’s Prison Itinerary

My simple yet rigorous daily schedule was as follows: Every morning I got up at 6:30am, after which I had twenty minutes to wash, dress, and brush my teeth. 7:30am was morning exercises, which consisted of walking back and forth... Continue Reading →

Rossetti and his Replicas

Lemoyne’s Annunciation: Reading and responding to Christian Context

For viewers to continue having meaningful relationships with pictures, the works have to continue evolving in meaning. The ability for a piece of art to continue to speak throughout all ages is the mark of a good painting.  A curator... Continue Reading →

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