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Lecture Programme 2023 - 2024

14 September 2023.  Anthony Russell

Venice, Canaletto and his Rivals.

A heady mixture of a ‘superstar’ painter, immensely rich

patrons, and a city whose modern face hides behind a

romantic mask. These are magical paintings by an Italian

artist greatly influenced by British taste.


l2 October 2023. Jo Banham

The Many Faces of William Morris.

A designer, craftsman, writer, lecturer,

conservationist and revolutionary socialist. We review

Morris’ ideas and achievements, his relations with his

wife and other artists, and the reasons why he is still

so important and influential today.


9 November 2023.

Monica Bohm-Duchen

The Lure of the Midi: Modern Artists and the South of


Visual artists have long been drawn to the south of France,

seduced by its intense light and sensual colours.

We consider Cezanne, Monet, van Gogh, Gaugin,

Paul Signac plus twentieth century arrivals including

Renoir, Bonnard, Matisse, and after the War Picasso and


l4 December 2023. Jane Tapley

Searching for Shakespeare.

400 years on and Shakespeare remains the most famous

Englishman in the world. Here we explore his life, the

influences of the Elizabethan age and how his work had

an impact on the global stage.


11 January 2024. Caroline Levisse

Danish Modernism: The Skagen School of Painting.

Skagen, at Denmark’s northernmost tip, is known for

its unusual light. In the late C19th, this fisherman’s village

was home to an artists’ colony. Capturing the particular

light of long summer evenings, their works often become

romantic and lyrical.

8 February 2024. Jo Walton

So they do cook after all! Ravilious, Bawden and

the Great Bardfield Artists.

In 1932, Edward and Charlotte Bawden established a

fascinating artistic community of artists in Great Bardfield,

Essex. See how the artists and the villagers created a

forerunner of the Open Studios movement.


14 March 2024. Gail Turner

The Golden Age of Spanish Painting.

We look at El Greco’s unique style of painting in

Philip II’s Spain and Velasquez’s portraits of members

of Philip IV's family and court.

11 April 2024. Tony Tucker

This is Christopher Wren: the Classical, the

Baroque and the City of London Churches.

This lecture analyses Wren’s life as a scientist,

astronomer, and architect. It features all his buildings

in London, Oxford and Cambridge, before focusing on

his City of London Churches.


9 May 2024. Daniel Snowman

The Gilded Stage: A Social and Cultural

History of Opera.

A richly illustrated history of an art form that

incorporates all the others. From the birth of opera in

Renaissance Italy, through Louis XIV’s Versailles,

Handel’s London, Verdi’s Italy, and Wagner’s Germany,

and beyond.


13 June 2024. David Wright

A Brief story of Wine.

From the kwervris of Georgia in 5,000 B.C, symposia of

ancient Greece and Rome through to the dining tables of

modern society, wine has been ever present. Drawings,

paintings, buildings, pottery and wine labels all contribute to a

fascinating story.

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