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Madeleine Emerald Thiele

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

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Art Writing

An Ekphrastic Courtyard

Derek Mahon's poem, 'Courtyards in Delft' is based upon the world-renowned painting of the same name by Pieter de Hooch (1658, National Gallery). I stumbled across this poem when reading Stephen Cheeke's book Writing for Art: The Aesthetics of Ekphrasis... Continue Reading →

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Photography is an Elegiac Art

Photography is an elegiac art, a twilight art. Most subjects photographed are, just by virtue of being photographed, touched with pathos. An ugly or grotesque subject may be moving because it has been dignified by the attention of the photographer.... Continue Reading →

Ruskin: a visitor’s first view of St. Mark’s, Venice

…beyond those troops of ordered arches there rises a vision out of the earth, and all the great square seems to have opened from it in a kind of awe, that we may see it far away;-a multitude of pillars... Continue Reading →

Ruskin remembering clouds

I remember once, when in crossing the Tête Noire, I had turned up the valley towards Trient, I noticed a rain-cloud forming on the Glacier de Trient. With a west wind, It proceeded towards the Col de Balme, being followed... Continue Reading →

A Sort of Boy

In Letters to Katie, the editor John Christian arranges the series with an interesting choice of letter to lead: one that crosses over between his public and his private life. The sketches included in most of the letters are childlike... Continue Reading →

The Renaissance by Walter Pater

In Leonardo's treatise on painting only one contemporary is mentioned by Name—Sandro Botticelli. This pre-eminence may be due to chance only, but to some will rather appear a result of deliberate judgment; for people have begun to find out the... Continue Reading →

The Fleshly School of Poetry by Robert Buchanan

If, on the occasion of any public performance of Shakspere's great tragedy, the actors who perform the parts of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were, by a preconcerted arrangement and by means of what is technically known as "gagging," to make themselves... Continue Reading →

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 →

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