Lectures 2019/2020 Membership Year 6 November 2019 “The Art of Snow & Ice” by Sue Jackson The bleak midwinter held little appeal to the artist for many centuries until Bruegel’s Hunters in the Snow in the 16th century. From pristine backdrop to the tempestuous snow storms of Turner to the capturing of ‘snow effect’ by the Impressionists, the ability of artists to convey snow as a symbol of peace but also of grandeur and terror is compelling. 4 December 2019 “The Inventors of Christmas” by Alan Read Everyone knows the ingredients of a traditional  Christmas: gathering round the Christmas tree, pulling crackers, eating Christmas pudding and mince pies.  Those last-minute cards sent to people you’ve not seen all year.  These are the festive celebrations with which most of us grew up and they still hold a special magic as representing the timeless Christmases of days gone by.  But where did they start?  This lecture looks at the characters and personalities of the people who began those traditions or introduced them to this country. 8 January 2020 (NB 2nd Wednesday) “The Green Man in art and myth” by David Bostwick The human face, carved as a mask disgorging leaves from its mouth – and known today as the Green Man – is found widespread across Europe as an ornament in medieval churches and secular buildings. It is a motif derived from the art of the pre-Christian past, and is thought to represent a pagan nature god absorbed into Christian imagery. Since Tudor times, actors dressed in leaves, and known variously as Jack-in-the-Green, Summer Lord or Robin Hood, have appeared in May Day celebrations, and are thought to indicate a survival of belief in the old nature spirits and fertility gods. This lecture reveals the fascinating truth. Photo: Simon Garbutt Click here to learn more about the Green Man myth 5 February 2020 “The Borgias, the most infamous family in history” by Sarah Dunant Murder, poison, corruption and incest: all perfect ingredients for sensational popular culture. But in an age known for its brutality and church corruption were the Borgias really so bad? This lecture reveals the real family that dominated the Papacy and Italian politics during the last decade of the 15th century: the charismatic figure of Pope Alexander VI, living inside his sumptuously decorated apartments, the career of his son, Cesare, cardinal, general, employer of Da Vinci and the model for Machiavelli’s The Prince, and the journey of Lucrezia Borgia from “the greatest whore in Rome” to a devout and treasured duchess of the city Ferrara. Sometimes truth is more intoxicating than myth 4 March 2020 “Canaletto in England” by Andrew Davies In May 1746 the great Venetian artist Canaletto moved to  England.  European war had prevented Englishmen from embarking on their Grand Tour so Canaletto reasoned that if they would not come to him, he had better go to them. For the next 9 years he created nearly 150 works of art showing us Georgian England, from the Lord Mayor's show and the construction of Westminster Bridge to the Vauxhall pleasure gardens, Eton College and Warwick Castle. We will revel in the delights of Canaletto's stay until in 1755, he returned home to Venice for good. More about Canaletto’s stay in England 1 April 2020 “100 years of deception, hoaxes and swindlers in the 18th Century” by Ian Keable The 1700s was a period where the people of England seemed to be especially gullible.  They believed a woman could give birth to rabbits; that a man could climb inside a wine bottle and sing and dance inside it; and a balloonist could fly in a Chinese Temple.  These, and other hoaxes - which involved the likes of Jonathan Swift, Samuel Johnson and the politician Charles James Fox - were written about in newspapers and journals and brilliantly and amusingly depicted by satirical artists such as William Hogarth and James Gillray.  In this entertaining talk Ian relates and illustrates sundry hoaxes and deliberate deceptions; all of which are memorable not only for the imaginative nature of the swindles, but also because of the differing motives of the tricksters. 6 May 2020 “The Model Wife - women in Pre-Raphaelite art” by Dr Suzanne Fagence Cooper Who were the women whose faces gaze out at us from the canvases of the Pre- Raphaelites? This lecture explores the private lives of a revolutionary group of Victorian artists, and the haunting stories of their loves – Lizzie Siddal, Janey Morris and Effie Gray. Click here for Pre-Raphaelite women at the National Portrait Gallery 3 June 2020 “The Splendours of North Africa - Roman & Islamic art of Libya, Tunisia and Morocco” by Christopher Bradley Fabulous Roman mosaics, imposing monuments and impressive villas attest to the great wealth of Leptis Magna, Cyrene, Oea, Sabratha and Carthage. We plunder the wealth of the Bardo and Tripoli museums to see the finest mosaics and statues of North Africa. In the 7th century Islam swept in from Arabia bringing a new architecture and decoration, which has remained ever since. Mosques, tombs and private houses in Fez, Rabat, Kairuwan and Tripoli often re-used Roman columns, but were lavishly enhanced with 'Zillij' tilework and delicate arabesque decorations. 1 July 2020 last lecture of the membership year. AGM please be seated by 10:30am “Nicholas and Alexandra, Tyrants and Martyrs of Imperial Russia” by Douglas Skeggs No synopsis yet.
Web site designed, created and maintained by Janet Groome, Handshake Computer Training.
Lectures 2019/2020 Membership Year   6 November 2019 “The Art of Snow & Ice” by Sue Jackson The bleak midwinter held little appeal to the artist for many centuries until Bruegel’s Hunters in the Snow in the 16th century. From pristine backdrop to the tempestuous snow storms of Turner to the capturing of ‘snow effect’ by the Impressionists, the ability of artists to convey snow as a symbol of peace but also of grandeur and terror is compelling. 4 December 2019 “The Inventors of Christmas” by Alan Read Everyone knows the ingredients of a traditional Christmas: gathering round the Christmas tree, pulling crackers, eating Christmas pudding and mince pies.  Those last-minute cards sent to people you’ve not seen all year.  These are the festive celebrations with which most of us grew up and they still hold a special magic as representing the timeless Christmases of days gone by.  But where did they start?  This lecture looks at the characters and personalities of the people who began those traditions or introduced them to this country. 8 January 2020 (NB 2nd Wed) “The Green Man in art and myth” by David Bostwick The human face, carved as a mask disgorging leaves from its mouth – and known today as the Green Man – is found widespread across Europe as an ornament in medieval churches and secular buildings. It is a motif derived from the art of the pre-Christian past, and is thought to represent a pagan nature god absorbed into Christian imagery. Since Tudor times, actors dressed in leaves, and known variously as Jack-in- the-Green, Summer Lord or Robin Hood, have appeared in May Day celebrations, and are thought to indicate a survival of belief in the old nature spirits and fertility gods. This lecture reveals the fascinating truth. Click here to learn more about the Green Man myth 5 February 2020 “The Borgias, the most infamous family in history” by Sarah Dunant Murder, poison, corruption and incest: all perfect ingredients for sensational popular culture. But in an age known for its brutality and church corruption were the Borgias really so bad? This lecture reveals the real family that dominated the Papacy and Italian politics during the last decade of the 15th century: the charismatic figure of Pope Alexander VI, living inside his sumptuously decorated apartments, the career of his son, Cesare, cardinal, general, employer of Da Vinci and the model for Machiavelli’s The Prince, and the journey of Lucrezia Borgia from “the greatest whore in Rome” to a devout and treasured duchess of the city Ferrara. Sometimes truth is more intoxicating than myth 4 March 2020 “Canaletto in England” by Andrew Davies In May 1746 the great Venetian artist Canaletto moved to England.  European war had prevented Englishmen from embarking on their Grand Tour so Canaletto reasoned that if they would not come to him, he had better go to them. For the next 9 years he created nearly 150 works of art showing us Georgian England, from the Lord Mayor's show and the construction of Westminster Bridge to the Vauxhall pleasure gardens, Eton College and Warwick Castle. We will revel in the delights of Canaletto's stay until in 1755, he returned home to Venice for good. More about Canaletto’s stay in England 1 April 2020 “100 years of deception, hoaxes and swindlers in the 18th Century” by Ian Keable The 1700s was a period where the people of England seemed to be especially gullible.  They believed a woman could give birth to rabbits; that a man could climb inside a wine bottle and sing and dance inside it; and a balloonist could fly in a Chinese Temple.  These, and other hoaxes - which involved the likes of Jonathan Swift, Samuel Johnson and the politician Charles James Fox - were written about in newspapers and journals and brilliantly and amusingly depicted by satirical artists such as William Hogarth and James Gillray.  In this entertaining talk Ian relates and illustrates sundry hoaxes and deliberate deceptions; all of which are memorable not only for the imaginative nature of the swindles, but also because of the differing motives of the tricksters. 6 May 2020 “The Model Wife - women in Pre-Raphaelite art” by Dr Suzanne Fagence Cooper Who were the women whose faces gaze out at us from the canvases of the Pre-Raphaelites? This lecture explores the private lives of a revolutionary group of Victorian artists, and the haunting stories of their loves – Lizzie Siddal, Janey Morris and Effie Gray. Click here for Pre-Raphaelite women at the National Portrait Gallery 3 June 2020 “The Splendours of North Africa - Roman & Islamic art of Libya, Tunisia and Morocco” by Christopher Bradley Fabulous Roman mosaics, imposing monuments and impressive villas attest to the great wealth of Leptis Magna, Cyrene, Oea, Sabratha and Carthage. We plunder the wealth of the Bardo and Tripoli museums to see the finest mosaics and statues of North Africa. In the 7th century Islam swept in from Arabia bringing a new architecture and decoration, which has remained ever since. Mosques, tombs and private houses in Fez, Rabat, Kairuwan and Tripoli often re-used Roman columns, but were lavishly enhanced with 'Zillij' tilework and delicate arabesque decorations. 1 July 2020 last lecture of the membership year. AGM please be seated by 10:30am “Nicholas and Alexandra, Tyrants and Martyrs of Imperial Russia” by Douglas Skeggs No synopsis yet.
Web site and mobile pages designed, created and maintained by Janet Groome Handshake Computer Training