Madeleine Emerald Thiele

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

Angels vi

Susan Sontag: Photography

Susan Sontag’s seminal book Photography (1977) speaks prophetically about many of the issues social media is now forcing us to consider. Who owns images, what is intrusive, historical, artistic, useful in a photograph? What is narcissistic, who shoots, who poses,... Continue Reading →


Angels i

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 →

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 →

Another Love by Rossetti

Of her I thought who now is gone so far: And, the thought passing over, to fall thence Was like a fall from spirit into sense Or from the heaven of heavens to sun and star. None other than Love's... Continue Reading →

Rossetti’s Coffin Confession to Swinburne

This is a transcript of a letter sent by Rossetti to his friend Swinburne, some weeks after Lizzie Siddal's body had been exhumed from her grave in order that his poetry manuscript could be retrieved. Rossetti didn't attend this ghoulish... Continue Reading →

Rossetti’s Romantic Coffin Gesture

Elizabeth Siddal died on the 11th February, 1862 from a possible suicide, or probable overdose. She was buried six days later, on the 17th February at Highgate Cemetery in the Rossetti family grave. During the funeral, her husband, poet and... Continue Reading →

Presenting is Performing

A Worrying Trend I recently attended a conference. This of course is part of general academic life, but there are things about this particular aspect of academia which are becoming increasingly apparent to me with each conference I attend, and... Continue Reading →

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