The haunted fairytales in Lesley Thiel’s art

From the so called, l’Art Pompier of William A. Bouguerau, characterized by symbols of innocence and purity and of the fanciful and idyllic world, and the art of the Pre-Raphaelite Movement, with their attentive study and reproduction of nature and the symbolic stories, takes inspiration the art of the contemporary talented painter Lesley Thiel. Even if those movements were different in appearance, they’re similar at their core.

Lesley Thiel is able to capture the beauty of her subjects, usually young girls who are, in her own words, “the budding mothers of the earth“, with an anxious spirit pointed towards climate change, the worst problem of our era.

She represents the girls in natural environments destroyed by fire or by rising oceans. Sometimes her models offer us a severe glance, and at other times they cast a worried eye towards the dire future of the planet.

All of her paintings have a strong and powerful symbolism, expressed with a technical virtuosity close to the perfect sfumato of Bouguereau’s skin, but also akin to Pre-Raphaelite works in its searching meticulous detailing of landscapes and insertion of symbolic meaning.

“The little girls are my neighbors and daughters of friends. I think my paintings have a strong fairytale element to them. We are surrounded by these sorts of stories, and led to believe that the witch always dies, and that there is a happy ending f or the heroine. I fear this is not reality, but carry the hope that we can resolve our problems and live in harmony on the earth.”

– Lesley Thiel



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