Programme of Lectures 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.
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,
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,
buildings, pottery and wine labels all contribute to a