Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ellen Terry's Beetle Wing Dress

It's only moderately related to the Pre-Raphaelites, but I have to share a link to this incredible article (pointed out to me by a friend, Traci) about the restoration of actress Ellen Terry's gown for Macbeth, made out of thousands of beetle wings. It is the gown that features in Sargent's famous portrait of Terry, above.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post, this dress is so amazing !

The Queens Table said...

I have been following the story of this unusual beauty, and wish I could view it in person. Even put it on! Amazing painting too!

Unknown said...

I love this gown-just gorgeous. I grew up by a river with tons of these gorgeous beetles and they do shed their hard ecto skeletons. What an amazing project to a conservator! One of the most amazing pieces I ever got to work on was a Moss Green Velvet Fortuny with Venetian glass beads and Griffins silk screened all over it! Too much! I would love to be able to see this gown!

Von said...

Whow!Have you ever seen Lady Curzon's Peacock dress?

david robertson said...

Hi Grace

I stumbled upon your lovely blog and was delighted to meet a fellow enthusiast, albeit one geographically a little further from the Pre-Raphaelite heartland than I am!

Please forgive me if I’m pointing you towards resources that you are well aware of, but I’m proud that two galleries nearby [I live in the English Midlands] have excellent Pre-Raphaelite collections. These are the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, which has a wonderful online resource: and also Birmingham University’s art gallery, the Barber Institute:
30 miles further south there is a very good [though small] museum dedicated to William Morris’ work in Broadway Tower:


Warm regards