Conservation talks in London

Apr
30
Tue
The Course / Art & Critical Analysis (Father of the Renaissance) 1/8
Apr 30 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Art & Critical Analysis (Father of the Renaissance) 1/8 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and Music.

From the earliest times, there has been criticism of art, both positive and negative. A substantial body of text survives and this series will look at a wide variety of European art works in the context of their critical reception. Concentrating on major works and significant artists from 1300 to 1900 and beyond, we will observe the impact on the public’s appreciation of art and how that might be influenced by critical analysis including the vagaries of fashion. What impact did these commentaries have on art practice and the artists themselves and can critics be seen to be responsible for influencing and thus changing the course of art history?

Father of the Renaissance

Early discourse and criticism in Italian Art/From Medieval to Renaissance (1300 – 1480)

Art discourse and criticism stretches back to a very early period. In this lecture, we will witness the inception and idea of the Renaissance and the recognition of named artists such as Cimabue and Giotto about whom texts were written. We will look at the most well-known works of both, as well as others, including Pisanello, the Pollaiuolo and Leonardo, drawing on texts from Dante Alighieri, Giorgio Vasari and others.

May
7
Tue
The Course / Art & Critical Analysis (Gender, the Body and the Nude) 2/8
May 7 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Art & Critical Analysis (Gender, the Body and the Nude) 2/8 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and Music.

From the earliest times, there has been criticism of art, both positive and negative. A substantial body of text survives and this series will look at a wide variety of European art works in the context of their critical reception. Concentrating on major works and significant artists from 1300 to 1900 and beyond, we will observe the impact on the public’s appreciation of art and how that might be influenced by critical analysis including the vagaries of fashion. What impact did these commentaries have on art practice and the artists themselves and can critics be seen to be responsible for influencing and thus changing the course of art history?

A Critical Reinvention/Renaissance, Baroque and Impressionism: Kept Behind the Curtain (1500 – 1900)

The nude is still seen in our modern age, and has been for quite some time, as the pinnacle of creative artistic perfection but throughout the course of art history the notion of the perfect body and consequently gender has been constantly reshaped and redefined. Both the female and the male body have been honed and twisted towards an ideal that often defies belief and reality, but how do we define what is a nude and thus art, and what is not, and what was the purpose of this fascination with nudity? This session will trace the critical reinvention of the nude from the Renaissance to the Baroque and on to the modern world of Impressionism. We will hear from German art historians and criticism from the Church.

May
21
Tue
The Course / Art & Critical Analysis (The Trouble with Venetian Painting) 3/8
May 21 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Art & Critical Analysis (The Trouble with Venetian Painting) 3/8 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and Music.

From the earliest times, there has been criticism of art, both positive and negative. A substantial body of text survives and this series will look at a wide variety of European art works in the context of their critical reception. Concentrating on major works and significant artists from 1300 to 1900 and beyond, we will observe the impact on the public’s appreciation of art and how that might be influenced by critical analysis including the vagaries of fashion. What impact did these commentaries have on art practice and the artists themselves and can critics be seen to be responsible for influencing and thus changing the course of art history?

The Trouble With Venetian Painting

Why the Renaissance could only be a Florentine/Giorgio Vasari and the Critical Appraisal of Venetian Art (1500-1594)

To this very day Florence is not only seen but is the self-proclaimed city of the Renaissance. But how did it receive this exulted status which it so jealously guards? We will look at the powerhouse of Renaissance art that is the city of Venice and why it never historically achieved the same accolade as Florence. We will also look at how art criticism can and did have a profound and long-lasting effect on how Venetian art was and still is perceived.

May
23
Thu
The Course / The History of Art in Ten Colours (Green) 4/10
May 23 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The History of Art in Ten Colours (Green) 4/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and

Music.Hockney “I prefer living in colours”

The very term ‘colour’ is used differently in the C21st. This course traces the fascinating history of pigments: where they came from, how they were created, and how they have changed the course of art history. It’s a story that will take us from a single mine in Afghanistan to the serendipitous discovery of a fraudulent alchemist in Berlin to a contemporary patent for the blackest black imaginable. We’ll consider both the materiality of colours – for instance, the impact of ‘fugitive’ pigments and dyes that disappear in time – and their shifting symbolism in different cultural contexts. Re-discover paintings you thought you knew by seeing them digitally returned to their ‘real’ colours and forge new connections between artists.

Green Leonardo

“Green made of copper, even when this colour is mixed with oil, loses its beauty like smoke if it is not quickly varnished”

The Chinese associate green (and black) with the female Yin – the passive and receiving principle; Islam venerates it as paradise. But what was taboo about green in the Medieval period? And why was green blamed for child death? Discover a host of greens including verdigris, Egyptian and emerald greens and how these were used by Renaissance masters like Duccio and Michelangelo, the Pre-Raphaelite artists, and the Impressionists and post-Impressionists like Cézanne.

May
30
Thu
The Course / The History of Art in Ten Colours (Yellow) 5/10
May 30 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The History of Art in Ten Colours (Yellow) 5/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and

Music.Hockney “I prefer living in colours”

The very term ‘colour’ is used differently in the C21st. This course traces the fascinating history of pigments: where they came from, how they were created, and how they have changed the course of art history. It’s a story that will take us from a single mine in Afghanistan to the serendipitous discovery of a fraudulent alchemist in Berlin to a contemporary patent for the blackest black imaginable. We’ll consider both the materiality of colours – for instance, the impact of ‘fugitive’ pigments and dyes that disappear in time – and their shifting symbolism in different cultural contexts. Re-discover paintings you thought you knew by seeing them digitally returned to their ‘real’ colours and forge new connections between artists.

Richard le Gallienne

“till one comes to think of it, one hardly realizes how important and pleasant things in life are yellow”

Yellow is associated with peace and knowledge in India. But how did it go from being the Imperial colour for the Chinese to a symbol of notoriety in late C19th Europe? Discover the range of yellows from the Indian yellow made from the urine of cows fed only on mango leaves and water to the chrome of Van Gogh’s sunflowers. And learn why Kandinsky included it in his key colours and one of today’s most influential installation artists, Olafur Eliasson, uses it in his practice.

Jun
6
Thu
The Course / The History of Art in Ten Colours (White) 6/10
Jun 6 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The History of Art in Ten Colours (White) 6/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and

Music.Hockney “I prefer living in colours”

The very term ‘colour’ is used differently in the C21st. This course traces the fascinating history of pigments: where they came from, how they were created, and how they have changed the course of art history. It’s a story that will take us from a single mine in Afghanistan to the serendipitous discovery of a fraudulent alchemist in Berlin to a contemporary patent for the blackest black imaginable. We’ll consider both the materiality of colours – for instance, the impact of ‘fugitive’ pigments and dyes that disappear in time – and their shifting symbolism in different cultural contexts. Re-discover paintings you thought you knew by seeing them digitally returned to their ‘real’ colours and forge new connections between artists.

White Kandinsky

“White has the appeal of the nothingness that is before birth of the world in the ice age”

We may not consider white a colour now, but it wasn’t always so. The Ancient Romans had two words for it: albus and candidus. Trace the history of lead, zinc, and lime whites, and consider their changing symbolism. How did it come to be associated with authority? Why were polychromed Greek sculptures scrubbed in the C18th? Who were the C19th ‘white painters’? From unicorns to Korean porcelain to Whistler’s women to Agnes Martin’s minimalism to the French performance artist who covered an apartment in toothpaste, discover the enduring appeal of white.

Jun
11
Tue
The Course / Art & Critical Analysis (Caravaggio and Bernini) 5/8
Jun 11 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Art & Critical Analysis (Caravaggio and Bernini) 5/8 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and Music.

From the earliest times, there has been criticism of art, both positive and negative. A substantial body of text survives and this series will look at a wide variety of European art works in the context of their critical reception. Concentrating on major works and significant artists from 1300 to 1900 and beyond, we will observe the impact on the public’s appreciation of art and how that might be influenced by critical analysis including the vagaries of fashion. What impact did these commentaries have on art practice and the artists themselves and can critics be seen to be responsible for influencing and thus changing the course of art history?

The Rise and Fall in Critical Favour of Caravaggio and Bernini

Taste and the invention of Baroque/An Age of Conspicuous Consumption (1577 – 1680)

What is Baroque and why did it fall so heavily out of favour; a position from which it has, arguably, never recovered? This session will look at Baroque through the prism of two of the most influential Italian artists – Caravaggio and Bernini. It will also look at their most iconic works, their lives and how their works were received within their lifetime and in the decades following their deaths.

Jun
13
Thu
The Course / The History of Art in Ten Colours (Purple) 7/10
Jun 13 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The History of Art in Ten Colours (Purple) 7/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and

Music.Hockney “I prefer living in colours”

The very term ‘colour’ is used differently in the C21st. This course traces the fascinating history of pigments: where they came from, how they were created, and how they have changed the course of art history. It’s a story that will take us from a single mine in Afghanistan to the serendipitous discovery of a fraudulent alchemist in Berlin to a contemporary patent for the blackest black imaginable. We’ll consider both the materiality of colours – for instance, the impact of ‘fugitive’ pigments and dyes that disappear in time – and their shifting symbolism in different cultural contexts. Re-discover paintings you thought you knew by seeing them digitally returned to their ‘real’ colours and forge new connections between artists.

Purple Monet

“I have finally discovered the true colour of the atmosphere. It’s violet. Fresh air is violet”

So expensive, it was a subject of sumptuary laws and mostly restricted to imperial or royal families, purple has a history that stretches back to Antiquity. Plato mentioned it in his Symposium as the greatest hue of all. The 1890s were called ‘the mauve decade’ when the first synthetic dye was made. But many purples were mixed from reds and blues and, often, faded reds have left only blue paint behind. Discover the true purples in works by Gossaert and Renoir; see how fashion changed forever; and why Monet (and Elizabeth Taylor) fell in love with violet.

20
Jun
2019
Jun
20
Thu
The Course / The History of Art in Ten Colours (Orange) 8/10
Jun 20 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The History of Art in Ten Colours (Orange) 8/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and

Music.Hockney “I prefer living in colours”

The very term ‘colour’ is used differently in the C21st. This course traces the fascinating history of pigments: where they came from, how they were created, and how they have changed the course of art history. It’s a story that will take us from a single mine in Afghanistan to the serendipitous discovery of a fraudulent alchemist in Berlin to a contemporary patent for the blackest black imaginable. We’ll consider both the materiality of colours – for instance, the impact of ‘fugitive’ pigments and dyes that disappear in time – and their shifting symbolism in different cultural contexts. Re-discover paintings you thought you knew by seeing them digitally returned to their ‘real’ colours and forge new connections between artists.

Orange Vincent Van Gogh

“There is no blue without yellow and without orange”

A special colour in Buddhist art, till the C16th, orange was referred to as ‘yellow-red’ or ‘saffron.’ But a deep orange chromium from a Siberian mineral was discovered in the C18th. Before that, orange the colour was popular with the sophisticated Ferrara Renaissance painters such as Garofalo and Dosso Dossi. Explore how orange became a fashionable colour from princely orangeries through Frederic Leighton’s Flaming June, Winslow Homer’s and Toulouse-Lautrec’s works.

Jun
25
Tue
The Course / Art & Critical Analysis (Hogarth) 7/8
Jun 25 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Art & Critical Analysis (Hogarth) 7/8 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and Music.

From the earliest times, there has been criticism of art, both positive and negative. A substantial body of text survives and this series will look at a wide variety of European art works in the context of their critical reception. Concentrating on major works and significant artists from 1300 to 1900 and beyond, we will observe the impact on the public’s appreciation of art and how that might be influenced by critical analysis including the vagaries of fashion. What impact did these commentaries have on art practice and the artists themselves and can critics be seen to be responsible for influencing and thus changing the course of art history?

Hogarth and the Art of the Conversation Piece and Social Commentary

The impact of Criticism on the work of William Hogarth (1697-1764)

Hogarth is rightly acknowledged to be one of the best loved British artists, but in his day, this was not the case. We will look at the impact of criticism on Hogarth’s work through the pictures which Hogarth referred to as conversation pieces. The lecture will highlight both the positives and negatives which were seen by many as a social commentary while also looking at Hogarth’s own prejudices and how they impacted on his work.

Jun
27
Thu
The Course / The History of Art in Ten Colours (Black) 9/10
Jun 27 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The History of Art in Ten Colours (Black) 9/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and

Music.Hockney “I prefer living in colours”

The very term ‘colour’ is used differently in the C21st. This course traces the fascinating history of pigments: where they came from, how they were created, and how they have changed the course of art history. It’s a story that will take us from a single mine in Afghanistan to the serendipitous discovery of a fraudulent alchemist in Berlin to a contemporary patent for the blackest black imaginable. We’ll consider both the materiality of colours – for instance, the impact of ‘fugitive’ pigments and dyes that disappear in time – and their shifting symbolism in different cultural contexts. Re-discover paintings you thought you knew by seeing them digitally returned to their ‘real’ colours and forge new connections between artists.

Black Hans Arp

“The black grows deeper and deeper darker and darker before me. It menaces me like a black gullet. I can bear it no longer. It is monstrous. It is unfathomable”

One of the most difficult colours to paint with, see how masters such as Frans Hals, Caravaggio, Degas, Goya, Manet, Robert Rauschenberg, Ad Reinhardt, and more succeeded in using black. What did Malevich mean by his iconic ‘Black Square’? How is bone black made? From the drawings of Aubrey Beardsley to the fashions of Coco Chanel, to Picasso’s ‘Guernica,’ and the innovations of Anish Kapoor, see this colour in all its manifestations.

Jul
2
Tue
The Course / Art & Critical Analysis 8/8
Jul 2 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Art & Critical Analysis 8/8 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and Music.

From the earliest times, there has been criticism of art, both positive and negative. A substantial body of text survives and this series will look at a wide variety of European art works in the context of their critical reception. Concentrating on major works and significant artists from 1300 to 1900 and beyond, we will observe the impact on the public’s appreciation of art and how that might be influenced by critical analysis including the vagaries of fashion. What impact did these commentaries have on art practice and the artists themselves and can critics be seen to be responsible for influencing and thus changing the course of art history?

A Catalyst for Change in Art Appreciation

From Pre-Raphaelitism & Ruskin to Impressionism, Modernity & Roger Fry (1848 – 1910)

Revolutionary iconoclasts or traditionalist in disguise? The artists in this final session seem hell-bent on causing offence and to be deliberately counter-culture just for the sake of it. Was this in reality their modus operandi or was there more to it? This session looks at two different approaches to modernity from both sides of the Chanel which changed the course of art history forever. In England, we will look at the Pre-Raphaelites and their relationship with John Ruskin and on the French side of the Chanel, the Impressionists and their critical reception. In both cases, the role of the critic, be it supportive or not, was crucial in establishing the reputation of these groups of artists. This session will also explore the tensions between artists and critics in what would become known as modern painting.

Jul
4
Thu
The Course / The History of Art in Ten Colours (Brown) 10/10
Jul 4 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The History of Art in Ten Colours (Brown) 10/10 @ The Course at The University Womens Club | England | United Kingdom

Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and

Music.Hockney “I prefer living in colours”

The very term ‘colour’ is used differently in the C21st. This course traces the fascinating history of pigments: where they came from, how they were created, and how they have changed the course of art history. It’s a story that will take us from a single mine in Afghanistan to the serendipitous discovery of a fraudulent alchemist in Berlin to a contemporary patent for the blackest black imaginable. We’ll consider both the materiality of colours – for instance, the impact of ‘fugitive’ pigments and dyes that disappear in time – and their shifting symbolism in different cultural contexts. Re-discover paintings you thought you knew by seeing them digitally returned to their ‘real’ colours and forge new connections between artists.

Brown Georgia O’Keeffe (Visit to the National Gallery)

“All the earth colours of the painter’s palette are out there in the many miles of badlands”

The earth pigments are some of the oldest to be used in art, evident in the Cave painters. There are many natural (raw umber, raw sienna) and human-made (burnt umber, burnt sienna) variations. Their versatility, stability, and affordability mean we can enjoy them in the great landscape painters, Dutch and Flemish genre painters like Joachim Beuckelaer, Velázquez, Van Dyck, and masters like Rembrandt who eschewed more expensive pigments in their search for truth. This gallery visit will also be an opportunity to revise our other colours by comparing them ‘in the flesh.’