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Madeleine Emerald Thiele

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

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Art Writing

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 →

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 →

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