M. Elise Hillestad, editor

I am a writer and an obsessor of paintings. For a decade I have been a painter ‘s wife and muse, a squirrelly collector of images, and a museum gypsy; finding my way to as many Rembrandts as I can possibly see around the world. The things which thrill me most in life are: medieval tapestries and reliquary busts, building fires in the woods, everything Pre Raphaelite, and Puccini arias. Oh, and Titian’s The Flaying of Marsyas. Gratitude to you friends and revelers for engaging in and supporting tradition, craftsmanship, and works of classical & timeless beauty. I encourage interaction on this, and other social media platforms! Messages, questions, inquiries are welcomed at:  templeofapelles@gmail.com



the Kitsch Witch


Apelles of Kos

This temple is consecrated grounds for the wild and revelrous worship of undying beauty, for devotion to the flesh, and for the echoing of mythos. We are the cult of Apelles of Kos, ancient court painter of the Greeks, of whom little is left known and whose storied paintings, now vanished, left a blank canvas for our aesthetic fantasies. What do we know of our demi god? We know that Rembrandt van Rijn, having read about him in Pliny the Elder’s Naturalis Historia, credited Apelles for his focused and harmonious palette. We know that throughout history Apelle’s name was synonymous with genius and grace- Botticelli claimed to be his renaissance reincarnation, and Dürer was hailed the German Apelles. Like the pantheon of great painters who followed in his tradition, Apelle’s craft was devoted to the creation of works more poetic and alive than real life. In this spirit, we revere the human figure, gracious sentimentality, and the promotion of classical craftsmanship and narrative that, withstanding the test of time, becomes legend.



photo by Gretta Bigham. 'Pupils of Apelles' exhibit, Copro Gallery, Los Angeles, 2014.
photo by Gretta Bigham. ‘Pupils of Apelles’ exhibit, Copro Gallery, Los Angeles, 2014.