Misericords: The Medieval World Upside Down (David Bostwick)
In the Middle Ages fear of disorder, coupled with a belief in evil dragons and scary monsters, gave rise to the nightmare imagery of Bosch & Bruegel. Bestiary books, with their illustrations of fabulous creatures such as the unicorn and mermaied, served as models for carvings beneath church and cathedral seats. This lecture will reveal the hilarious but sinister vision of a topsy-turvy world: a world upside-down.
Love, Marriage and Fidelity in Western Art (Sophie Oosterwijk)
Love and marriage have always been a source of inspiration to authors and artists alike. One of the most famous portraits in the National Gallery is Van Eyck’s enigmatic Arnolfini Portrait, but marital depictions have a much longer history: in Ancient Egypt people chose to have themselves immortalised as loving couples. Double portraits were commissioned in large numbers from artists such as Rembrandt, Hals and Gainsborough, but others show a more ironic attitude, for love and marriage are not always a bed of roses!
Edward Seago - Landscape Perfectionist & Royal Favourite (Anthony Russell)
Seago’s refined landscapes personified a respect for the traditions of British landscape painting. In Britain, he was part of a remarkable post-impressionist flowering that included the likes of Sickert, Munnings and Augustus John. What made Seago quintessentially English was the great subtlety of his colour control and peaceful landscape compositions. This refinement won him admiration from four generations of royalty and an international fan-base that would cause his exhibitions to sell out on the first day.
A Potted History (Julian Richards)
The first pots appeared in Britain about 6000 years ago and this lecture will chart the ways in which ceramic production has evolved from this time to the present day. From the hand-formed and bonfire-fired pots of our prehistoric ancestors to the products of both modern industry and individual craft potters, this lecture will examine the major changes that have shaped the ways pots are produced and distributed.
Double Dutch - Symbols, Emblems & Double Entendre in Dutch Genre Painting (Lynne Gibson)
The merchants of seventeenth century Holland filled their town houses with paintings. A favourite subject was scenes of everyday life, depicting behaviour both good and bad. But these upright Calvinist citizens rejected Catholic Baroque melodrama. They wanted nothing to alarm the in-laws or corrupt the children. Innocent objects hint at adult themes: plucked chickens and lap dogs, lutes and virginals, oysters and artichokes, foot warmers and bed warmers.
The Creation and Early Years of the Newlyn School (Alan Read)
From the 1880s the work of Stanhope Forbes, Walter Langley, Frank Bramley and others began to be recognised as a discrete school. Examining the process of that recognition, there will be a description of how the work of the Newlyn-based artists responded to international movements and ultimately how they came into conflict with trends elsewhere in British art.
Exploring Lost Royal Interiors (Jonathan Foyle)
This talk reconstructs and explores some of the more interesting royal interiors that have been lost to time, yet which can be recovered by research. The main focus is six examples of royal interiors in the London area that we can basically reconstruct and interpret to reveal insights into the character of their patrons, set in chronological order from the fourteenth century to the nineteenth: Hampton Court, Westminster, Windsor and Kew feature among them.