Lectures

The Georgian Jewel

Georgian ring

The Georgian Jewel

Tuesday 24th November 2020

Lecturer: JOHN BENJAMIN

Eighteenth century jewellery is largely misunderstood and is sadly neglected today.  In a world wholly focused on fabulous gems, jewellery which fetch millions at international auction and diamonds bought for investment rather than their innate beauty there seems to be little time and even less interest in Regency shoe buckles, dainty Posy Rings and intimate lockets conveying messages of love.  John Benjamin’s new talk examines the jewellery of what, in reality, was an innovative and fascinating period of jewellery design and explores many of the key themes, inspirations and gems used in this most elegant of eras – from the soft twinkling diamonds of Queen Anne to the sumptuous Parures typifying the stylish exuberance of William IV.

PLEASE NOTE: This lecture may be delivered via Zoom. TBC

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The Journey of the Magi

Adoration of the Magi

The Journey of the Magi

Tuesday 26th January 2021

Lecturer: LESLIE PRIMO

There have been pictorial representations of The Magi from as early as at least the 6th century, such as depictions in Byzantine ivories with origins in places such as Constantinople. Indeed, a vast array of artists, such as Hieronymus Bosch (c.1450-1516), Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510), Pieter Bruegel the Elder (active 1550/1; died 1569), Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), Masaccio (1401-1428/9?), and Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) to name but a few, have been clearly fascinated by story and its possibilities when it comes to visual depictions. However, these depictions over this vast period of time have been anything but consistent. All the aforementioned artists will be mentioned in this lecture, as I seek to will unravel the myth and the iconography behind the proliferation of the story of the adoration of the magi from its Eastern and pagan roots to its current Christian interpretation. To aid my examination of this story, and to trace the changes in iconography and depictions of the kings themselves, I will be illustrating it with a variety beautiful works of art, images made across many centuries that will illuminate this fascination as never before. The lecture will begin by looking at the etymology behind the term ‘magi’ and how it has come down to us and what is now means in contemporary society.

This lecture will then look at the changing iconography behind the depictions of the story and the various meanings behind these changes in its iconography, not to mention the changes in the story of the adoration of the magi itself.  Moving on the lecture will then look at the origin of the names of the magi and the significance of their gifts to the Christ Child.  Following this exploration of the fundamental roots of the story I will then come to the issue of the inclusion of the black king, where he came from, why he would be included, how significant was he and how European artists tackled the problem of depicting this magus when they themselves had little or no knowledge of such people of colour.

Posted by vivalogue in Lectures

The Art of Sea-Bathing

Sea-bathing in Brighton

The Art of Sea-Bathing

Tuesday 23rd February 2021

Lecturer: JACKIE MARSH-HOBBS

The story of how fashionable society took to our beaches to embrace the health-giving properties of the sea. In the eighteenth century some doctors advocated the drinking of seawater as part of the seawater cure, a practice which did not last. While dipping in the sea continued to grow in popularity, leading to seawater bath houses being built in coastal resorts for the luxury of warm bathing, seawater was also pumped into hotels, houses and swimming pools or in some places could be delivered to your lodging house. Artist were drawn to the coast by dramatic weather and the effect of light on the colours of seascapes, as were early photographers setting up their studios close to the seafront. Illustrated with paintings, engravings, prints and early photography, this lecture looks at the history of our sea bathing heritage, its legacy, and a nation’s continuing love of the seaside.

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Materials & Techniques of Painting in the 15th – 18th C

cennini

Historical Materials & Techniques of Painting in the 15th – 18th Centuries

Tuesday 23rd March 2021

Lecturer: CHANTEL BROTHERTON-RATCLIFFE

The 14th century artist Cennino Cennini recommended using “the chicken bones that you will find under the dining table” for making charcoaled bone black to paint with. His treatise, The Artists’ Handbook, gives us an understanding of some of the surprising materials which any artist had to master before he could begin to paint, such as the tail of a squirrel to make his paintbrushes. But many of these materials were difficult to use and have an effect on the finished look of paintings from the centuries before industrial processes changed the artist’s world. This lecture will explain the techniques and the reasons for some of the features of 15th and 16th century paintings which may seem odd to our modern eyes. I will bring examples of the materials mentioned in the talk to pass round and discuss with participants.

Posted by vivalogue in Lectures

The Hidden World of Canal Architecture

canal architecture

The Hidden World of Canal Architecture

Tuesday 27th April 2021

Lecturer: ROGER BUTLER

This lecture examines the unique buildings and structures associated with the UK’s canal network, with a vast array of distinctive designs, landmark features and unusual artefacts: only the National Trust and the Church of England have more listed structures than our canals.

Look out for lock flights and lighthouses; cottages and clock towers; warehouses and lots of whimsical architecture - our canals delight the eye and refresh the spirit.

Posted by vivalogue in Lectures

Shimmering Splendour: Silk in South-East Asia

South-East Asian Silk

Shimmering Splendour: Silk in South-East Asia

Tuesday 25th May 2021

Lecturer: DENISE HEYWOOD

Denise Heywood is a scholar of South-East Asian art and has spent many years travelling the region.

She lectures at the School of Oriental and African Studies and the University of Cambridge, also the British Museum and many other art institutions. This lecture shows the origins of silk, most dazzling of all creations, revealing its transformation from silkworm cocoons, dyed and woven in glorious colours and complex patterns. Denise will show images of how film stars, monarchs and dancers have worn this shimmering material.

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Fakes and Forgeries: The Art of Deception

Fake paintings

Fakes and Forgeries: The Art of Deception

Tuesday 22nd June 2021

Lecturer: MALCOLM KENWOOD

Malcolm Kenwood presented an excellent lecture on Art Crime, Theft and Repatriation and is returning to York to explain how increasingly sophisticated methods are being used to forge art works.

Experts have estimated that a high percentage of works within the art market are fake.

This lecture reveals case studies, demonstrating the lengths forgers will go to in passing off works as legitimate. Skilled forgers capable of imitating well-known artists have duped many at the highest level within the art market.

Posted by vivalogue in Lectures