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Leonardo – The Science behind the Art
Guy Rooker FRCS
Leonardo da Vinci is renowned as a painter and draughtsman of the High Renaissance and two of his works, the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper are amongst the most famous paintings of all time. But he was an artist whose works were informed by scientific investigation; he was an engineer, designer, and anatomist. He observed the world closely, describing nature as his teacher, studying anatomy and physiology in order to create convincing images of the human form.
A Passion for Fashion
Dr Sally Hoban
This lecture tells the story of 20th century fashion design, tracing how clothes, textiles and accessories were influenced by contemporary history.
It includes the elegant fashions of the Edwardian era, the glamour of the 1920s and 1930s, the austerity of the 1940s, the futuristic fashions of the 1950s, the liberating styles of the 1960s and the avant-garde fashions of the 1970s to the present day.
Hampton Court Palace: 500 years
Dr Jonathan Foyle MA Dip Arc
Hampton Court is best known as the main surviving palace of Henry VIII. But how much of Hampton Court did he really create? The king had lost the principal medieval royal seat of Westminster to a fire in 1512, and in 1528 he adopted Cardinal Wolsey’s Hampton Court, which had been planned anew in 1515.
Gods, Heroes and Mortals: the Greek Myths in Ancient Art
Dr Neil Faulkner FSA
Ancient Greece was sophisticated and primitive at the same time. Philosophy and myth ran side by side. Men who thought rationally about their world also believed it to be populated by a pantheon of spirits and deities.
This lecture will explore how the myths of gods and heroes dominated Greek art and what we can learn from these images about ancient Greek society, its values and its fears.
The Arts and Crafts of Kashmir
For many people, Kashmir conjures up a beautiful valley surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas, for others it is a land of conflict. But what is less well known is that it has been of historic artistic importance for nearly 2000 years. This lecture introduces the astonishing diversity of arts and crafts produced in this tiny area, influenced by Buddhist, Hindu and Islamic cultures.
Gardens of the Italian Lakes
Steven Desmond MA FLS
There are many illustrious gardens on the shores of Lakes Como and Maggiore in the mountainous far north of Italy. The ones described in this lecture include the Villa Cicogna Mozzoni, with its 16th-century parterre and water staircase; Isola Bella, a baroque extravaganza on an island in the middle of an alpine lake; Villa Melzi and Villa Carlotta, two lakeshore gardens made by rival Napoleonic grandees.
Charles Dickens: The Man and his Life through his Characters
Bertie Pearce BA MIMC
Charles John Huffam Dickens, regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era, was born in 1812. Largely self educated, he was recognised even in his own time as something of a literary genius, with 15 major novels to his name as well as countless short stories and articles.
As Good as Gold
Alexandra Epps MA
Experience the story of gold and its significance and symbolism within the history of art - as the colour of the sun; the colour of divinity; the colour of status and the colour of love. From creations ancient and contemporary, sacred and profane - all that glitters is certainly gold…
Meet me at the Waldorf
Mary Alexander MA
Immortalised in Cole Porter's lyrics 'You're the Top! You're a Waldorf salad', the Waldorf-Astoria New York was a glamorous home to international celebrities in the 1930s. But it had an equally iconic predecessor. Built by the Astors in the 1890s at the height of the Gilded Age, for high society clientele and visiting royalty.
The Fascinating World of Playing Cards
Yasha Beresina LLB
We will be given an insight into the history behind the cards we use today. Playing cards originally date from 1377 and there are surviving decks from as early as 1475.
The Women who built American Art Institutions
By the 1880’s women were founding associations as patrons of the arts. Names familiar to us are Peggy Guggenheim, Gertrude Vanderbilt, Abbey Rockefeller and there are many more besides!
Armour and the Afterlife
Dr T Capwell
Effigies not only bring us face-to-face with the real inhabitants of the medieval world, they also provide a unique way for us to understand the art of the historical English armourer.
Hidden Canvases - Street Art in the City
Doug Gillen will talk to us about Street Art in the City, there is more to it than sometimes meets the eye!
The Changing Skyline of London
This lecture is divided into two parts looking principally at the changes to the famous City of London skyline viewed from across the Thames.
Opera, Music, Voices and Anecdotes
Tim lives in Exeter, and he will give us a fascinating insight into the world of professional classical singing and how the voice is trained, showing us how the vocal chords change with the notes, anecdotes and maybe even some stage secrets!!
Field of the Cloth of Gold & The Calais Project
Through the work of Cardinal Wolsey Henry VIII and Frances I of France signed the Treaty of London as a non-aggression pact between the major European powers of the time. By 1520 this treaty was nearly falling apart and Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon met with Frances I in a field near Calais. Both rulers tried to outdo the other in the sumptuousness of their encampments and the field became known as the Field of the Cloth of Gold.
Foreign Artists in London 1520 - 1677: The Artists who changed the Course of British Art
Why were foreigner painters preferred by the aristocracy in London to native-born English painters, why did foreigners come in the first place, what was their motivation, and what was the impact of foreigners in London on English art and art practise?
Doctor what is wrong with me - The Art of Diagnostics
Dr James Grant MBE
“What is wrong with me”? is the most common question put to any doctor. The ability of doctors to respond meaningfully to the question “Doctor what is wrong with me” has progressed in the last 2,000 years from mythology to Galen’s four humors, bloodletting, endoscopy and MRI scans.
Anne Sebba is a biographer, historian, author and broadcaster. Her lecture will be based on her book, published in 2016, which describes how the women of Paris lived, loved and died during the last war.
Dowager Empress Cixi
This lecture will provide an insight into the achievements of one of the most influential women in Chinese imperial history. From a comparatively low position as a consort rising to Empress in 1861, Cixi preserved and revitalised imperial rule in China.
How to read the English Country Church
Dr. The Rev. Henderson
This lecture will demonstrate what can be learnt from the architecture and art forms in our country churches from pre-Christian times, through the arrival of the Romans and onwards to the Tudor era.
Exquisite Corpses and Angels of Anarchy
Dr. Justine Hopkins
Dr Hopkins will give us some insights into Surrealist Art, addressing the way its artists embrace the unexpected as well as the impossible, question the nature of reality and truth, and challenge the viewer to look at everything afresh.
Frost Fairs on the Frozen Thames
Mr. Nicholas Reed
There were four major Frost Fairs on the Thames between 1621 and 1814 which have been depicted by various foreign and British artists. A wide variety of enjoyable, remarkable and even scandalous activities took place during these events!
The Role of Art in the Cycle of Crime, Prison and Reoffending.
Ms. Angela Findlay
Angela has worked extensively as an artist in the Criminal justice System in the UK and Germany. This thought-provoking lecture will explain the huge role that art can play in the rehabilitation of offenders of all ages
The World of Ottoman Art
Ms. Jane Angelini
The Ottoman Empire, which was founded in the fourteenth century and continued until 1918, is renowned for its art. Here we will enter the world of the richness of silks, embroidery, carpets and ceramics as well as kaftans and turbans all embellished with floral and vegetal patterns. A feast for the eyes!
James Gillray, A Caterpiller on the Green Leaf of Reputation
Ms. Linda Smith
British caricaturist and printmaker famous for his etched political and social satires, mainly published between 1792 and 1810. Many of his works are held at the National Portrait Gallery in London.
In Search of the Queen of Sheba
Ms. Louise Schofield
A figure first mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. In the original story, she brings a caravan of valuable gifts for the Israelite King Solomon. However, the queen's existence is disputed among historians.
Mistress of Menace and the Master of Suspense. Daphne du Maurier and Alfred Hitchcock
Mr. John Francis
Whilst commonly known as a romantic novelist, this is completely misleading. Like Hitchcock, she dealt in fear, loneliness, suspense and gothic imagery.
Mr. John Ericson
Great artist or mere illustrator. A storyteller with a brush, he did a lot of work for the Saturday Evening Post in New York. His work now sells for millions of dollars.
Shackleton’s Endurance on Camera
Mr. Mark Cottle
Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton led three British expeditions to the Antarctic. A young Australian photographer, Frank Hurley, accompanied Shackleton on the Trans-Antarctic Expedition to record events in motion and still pictures.
Richelieu and his City
Mr. Brian Freeland
Cardinal Richelieu was a French clergyman, nobleman, and statesman. He sought to consolidate royal power and crush domestic factions and was also famous for his patronage of the arts.
Golden Age of British Watercolours
Mr. Hugh Ellwood
A versatile art form, almost uniquely British, and at its height in the 18th and 19th centuries. Hugh is an architect but also a very talented watercolourist, and regards this as perhaps the most challenging of all the media.
Under an open Sky. Newlyn and Lamorna, Women Artists 1880-1940
Ms. Catherine Wallace
Dame Laura Knight and Dod Procter, are two well -known women artists to feature in the history of Cornish art. But there were many who came before and after them, who have been forgotten often because of their more famous husbands. This talk looks at the many women artists who came to capture Cornwall’s charms.
Two Gustavs, Mahler & Klimt
Mr. Gavin Plumley
Gustav Klimt broke away from the imperially endorsed art institutions in Vienna in 1897 and founded the Secession. In the same year Gustav Mahler took charge of the Opera House in the city. Comparing these two, this lecture places Klimt and Mahler in context, asking what links and divides them.