Madeleine Emerald Thiele

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

Tolstoy: to scramble or to savour?

There is an Eastern fable, told long ago, of a traveller overtaken on a plain by an enraged beast. Escaping from the beast he gets into a dry well, but sees at the bottom of the well a dragon that... Continue Reading →


Crossing the Bar by Tennyson

Sunset and evening star, And one clear call for me! And may there be no moaning of the bar, When I put out to sea, But such a tide as moving seems asleep, Too full for sound and foam, When... Continue Reading →

A Lament upon a Wombat

On this day, 6th November, in 1869, Rossetti's wombat sadly died. Rossetti wrote the following ditty and drew the below pen and ink sketch as a memorial. I never reared a young Wombat To glad me with his pin-hole eye,... Continue Reading →

Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites

This is an extended version of my review for the Exhibition Context Jan van Eyck’s The Arnolfini Portrait (1454, National Gallery) entered the collection of the National Gallery in 1842 as the one hundred and eighty-sixth item, although it... Continue Reading →

Pre-Raphaelite Reflections: a glimpse

  Images courtesy of the National Gallery, Tate, Wikipedia and my own collection

Reflections: a Pseudo-Intellectual Response

The press view of the National Gallery’s new exhibition Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelites started at half past ten yesterday morning. The room was fairly full with people from various establishments. Gabriele Finaldi, the Director of the National Gallery,... Continue Reading →

Alma Tadema at Leighton House Museum

This is a slightly extended version of my review as written for The Victorian Web. The Exhibition The current Leighton House Museum exhibition, "Alma-Tadema: at Home in Antiquity," has been brought over from the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden, Friesland, where... 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 →

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