Madeleine Emerald Thiele

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

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 Sphinx by Oscar Wilde

In a dim corner of my room for longer than my fancy thinks A beautiful and silent Sphinx has watched me through the shifting gloom. Inviolate and immobile she does not rise she does not stir For silver moons are... Continue Reading →

Dark Angel by Lionel Johnson

Dark Angel, with thine aching lust To rid the world of penitence: Malicious Angel, who still dost My soul such subtile violence! Because of thee, no thought, no thing, Abides for me undesecrate: Dark Angel, ever on the wing, Who... 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 →

The Ruskin Road Gang

John Ruskin, leading nineteenth century thinker, critic, artist, general man of unimpeachable talents and genius, was also a man of social conscience. Prone to considering all detail, from noticing the most minor daub in a painting to the tiniest vein... Continue Reading →

William Allingham The Fairies

Elizabeth Siddal: Her Passing

On the evening of 10th February 1862 Lizzie, wearing a new cloak, had accompanied Rossetti and Swinburne to the Sablonière Hotel, Leicester Square, where they had dined early. She had seemed drowsy in the cab on the way but refused... Continue Reading →

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