Denise M Taylor

Writing Consultant I Editor I Proofreader I Teacher

The handmade book and the manual craft of printing are brought into sharp focus in an Arts and Crafts house situated along a short stretch of the Thames River in Hammersmith, just a half-hour train journey from central London. I visited 7 Hammersmith Terrace on a sunny spring day on the 17th of May this year. Between 1903 and 1933, […]

Categories: Musings on Art

A few years ago I wrote a thesis with its focus the mid-nineteenth-century painting by British artist Valentine Prinsep, ‘The flight of Jane Shore’. I researched Jane Shore’s life to the point of obsession and got to know this medieval royal mistress so well that I thought I could speak for her—write her story in the genre of historical fiction. […]

Entering The University of Melbourne’s Ian Potter Museum of Art, I walked upstairs and entered a darkened room: soft light illuminated the central glass case containing a small medieval prayer book opened to reveal a biblical scene in brilliant colour, painted on parchment. I could just see the crimson velvet binding around the edge of the cover, and I imagined […]

Categories: Musings on Art

In 1848, inspired by medieval art and literature, seven young British artists formed the semi-secret Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB). Together they explored new ways of ensuring that visual truth could be better expressed through a more realistic, less idealised art, which had been previously defined by the standards of classicism and High Renaissance art. During a time of profound change in […]

Categories: Musings on Art

What are those rabbits doing in the border of that medieval prayer book? Is that a snail jousting with a dog? Why is a naked man riding a many-legged ‘dragon’ in the lower margin? No, your eyes are not deceiving you. This profusion of humans, animals, fantastical plants and grotesques painted in the margins of thirteenth and early fourteenth-century Europe […]