Design talks in London

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
9
Thu
The Course / The History of Art in Ten Colours (Blue) 2/10
May 9 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / The History of Art in Ten Colours (Blue) 2/10 @ 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.

Blue Cennino Cennini

“illustrious, beautiful and most perfect, beyond all other colours”

Ancient Egyptians were unusual for valuing blue so early on. It wasn’t until the C12th in Europe that Abbot Suger, proponent of Gothic architecture, stated blue was divine. Discover how blue went on to become the most venerated pigment in Medieval and Renaissance art and how chemists strove to replace costly lapis lazuli. Why is denim ubiquitous? What made Yves Klein smear his nude models in blue paint? Explore blues through the works of Giotto, Holbein, Titian, Vermeer, Van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse, and Hockney amongst others.

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.

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
18
Tue
The Course / Art & Critical Analysis (Vermeer) 6/8
Jun 18 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Art & Critical Analysis (Vermeer) 6/8 @ 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?

Fame, Bankruptcy and Critical Revival

Vermeer the Sphinx of Delft (1632 – 1675)

For an artist who died bankrupt in 1675 leaving enormous debts, Vermeer has become one of the most highly prized artists in the world. This lecture will look at his rise as an artist in the Dutch town of Delft, his training and influences, how and why he made his pictures and what they might mean. Could these factors have an impact on why he was described in his lifetime as “the excellent and famous Vermeer”? The story of Vermeer will take us right into the 20th century to help us understand the enduring appeal of this artist.

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.’

Sep
24
Tue
The Course/Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 1/10
Sep 24 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course/Princely Patronage in the Italian Renaissance 1/10 @ The University Womens Club

Started in 1994, The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera Lectures.

In Princely Patronage, a series of 10 lectures, we will examine how for nearly two centuries, some dozen city states waged war and their leaders competed to create spheres of both authority and magnificence. Artists from Italy and abroad flourished, moving from court to court, sharing influences and creating ever more sumptuous environments. This series examines the role of the ruling families, their spectacular personalities and projects, and the values of the age in driving this artistic flowering.

 

Introduction and the Court Artist

Why the arts? What is a Prince? Were they all leaders of taste? We begin by exploring some of the key themes and figures of this series before moving on to examine the qualities, experience and identity of the “court artist”.