Madeleine Emerald Thiele

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



The Beardsley Period by Osbert Burdett

Osbert Burdett wrote his book The Beardsley Period in 1925, twenty-seven years after Beardsley died, and nigh on quarter of a century after Oscar Wilde had died. The premise of the book is a little unclear: the title itself being... Continue Reading →

The Tragedy of Simeon Solomon by Bernard Falk

When Bernard Falk was writing the Tragedy of Simeon Solomon, written in his 1938 text Five Years Dead, homosexuality was still a criminal act. Initially Falk’s language, at least in the earliest part of the chapter, is a little jarring... Continue Reading →

The Elements of Drawing by Ruskin (Letter One)

Initially Ruskin's book, The Elements of Drawing in Three Letters to Beginners, opens with a description about who the book is aimed at, and interestingly, who it is not. For example, Ruskin decrees that no child below 12 (or perhaps... Continue Reading →

Queer British Art 1861-1967

Alex Farquharson, Director of the Tate, introduced the Queer British Art seminar on 10th April 2017. He affirmed the premise behind the exhibition was the fifty year anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality (the ‘Sexual Offences Act 1967’). The exhibition,... Continue Reading →

Beatific Souls by Dr. Jen Baker

Dr. Jen Baker’s talk at BRLSI on the 29th March was entitled: Beatific Souls - Child Death in Nineteenth Century Literary & Visual Culture The premise of Baker’s talk was centred around an examination of child death within literature and... Continue Reading →

The Externals of Sacred Art by William Michael Rossetti

William Michael Rossetti opens this essay by posing a question of Ruskin’s: ‘How far Fine Art has, in all or any of the ages of the world, been conducive to the religious life’?[1] Rossetti considers Ruskin to be fair in... Continue Reading →

Arnold and Pater by T.S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot’s own observations about ‘the direction taken by taste and thought from Arnold, through Pater, to the nineties, with, of course, the solitary figure of Newman in the background’ are set out in the first paragraph of his essay... Continue Reading →

The Literate Eye by Rachel Teukolsky

Rachel Teukolsky, The Literate Eye: Victorian Art Writing and Modernist Aesthetics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009) The  Blurb: In Victorian Britain, authors produced a luminous and influential body of writings about the visual arts. From John Ruskin's five-volume celebration of... Continue Reading →

Degas to Picasso at the Ashmolean

The Telegraph describes the current Ashmolean exhibition Degas to Picasso, as a chance to see ‘All-time-great artists in a show with a rare provenance’.[1] Picasso and Degas are great artists and, like The Telegraph says, when we want to understand... Continue Reading →

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