Design talks in London

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”.

Sep
25
Wed
The Course / London: The People Who Shaped A City 1/20
Sep 25 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / London: The People Who Shaped A City 1/20 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

The Course offers Art History, Literature, Music and Opera lectures.

In this series of paired lectures and walks will look at the ways in which particular groups, often professions, have shaped and been shaped by London. Each theme could provide a course of its own, so we will proceed through a series of snapshots at the activities of these groups and individuals at key moments in the formation of the city.

Lecture Immigrants

London is a city of incomers, and has been since its foundation by the Romans nearly two millennia ago. The way Londoners speak, eat, the trades they have practiced and the way they dress have been formed by the crucial additions to the population which have given the city its character.

2 October 2019
 

The week after the lecture, there will be a conducted walk in Spitalfields and nearby, home successively to Huguenots, Jews and Bangladeshis

Sep
26
Thu
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: the Life of the Universal Man 1/10
Sep 26 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: the Life of the Universal Man 1/10 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

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

We have all heard of the great master of the Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci. Speculation regarding the true life and meaning of his work has been rife for centuries. Books such as the Da Vinci Code and many others only serve to confirm and equally to confuse us. So how much do we really know? How did he become such a great artist, how famous was he in his own lifetime, was he rich and where and how did he learn his craft? This series of lectures will give you an insight into the life of this great artist; charting the beginnings of his career, the highs and the lows, and finding out just how and why he became the ultimate and universal genius we now regard him.

Beginnings, Schooling And Influences

We will look at the unconventional circumstances surrounding the birth of Leonardo, his family background, his father’s profession and how that impacted on Leonardo’s early education. We will examine his early training in the Florentine workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio; look closely at the latter’s techniques and working practices, the students who passed through this workshop and what possible impact all this may have had on the future development of Leonardo’s art. We will end with his departure from the Verrocchio workshop.

Oct
9
Wed
The Course / London: The People Who Shaped A City 3/10
Oct 9 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / London: The People Who Shaped A City 3/10 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

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

In this series of paired lectures and walks will look at the ways in which particular groups, often professions, have shaped and been shaped by London. Each theme could provide a course of its own, so we will proceed through a series of snapshots at the activities of these groups and individuals at key moments in the formation of the city.

Lecture Merchants

London is a city conceived for trade. Sited at the lowest easily bridgeable part of the Thames, a conduit leading to the Continent. From Roman times the Port of London was vital to the prosperity of the country at large, and at one stage the Port was the largest in the world. Other forms of trade have also flourished, with London established as a financial centre from the 13th century onwards.

Walk
The week after the lecture (16 Oct) there will be a walk in the City and close to the Thames
Oct
10
Thu
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 3/10
Oct 10 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 3/10 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

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

We have all heard of the great master of the Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci. Speculation regarding the true life and meaning of his work has been rife for centuries. Books such as the Da Vinci Code and many others only serve to confirm and equally to confuse us. So how much do we really know? How did he become such a great artist, how famous was he in his own lifetime, was he rich and where and how did he learn his craft? This series of lectures will give you an insight into the life of this great artist; charting the beginnings of his career, the highs and the lows, and finding out just how and why he became the ultimate and universal genius we now regard him.

Sculpture And The World Of The Antique

Although no sculptures by Leonardo exist, we will examine his influences from the antique world, his sculptural design ideas and how they would play into the narrative of the Renaissance aesthetic. We will also consider the drawings that were made to demonstrate how he might have constructed these artworks.

Oct
24
Thu
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 5/10
Oct 24 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 5/10 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

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

We have all heard of the great master of the Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci. Speculation regarding the true life and meaning of his work has been rife for centuries. Books such as the Da Vinci Code and many others only serve to confirm and equally to confuse us. So how much do we really know? How did he become such a great artist, how famous was he in his own lifetime, was he rich and where and how did he learn his craft? This series of lectures will give you an insight into the life of this great artist; charting the beginnings of his career, the highs and the lows, and finding out just how and why he became the ultimate and universal genius we now regard him.

Inside The Mind Of Man – Grotesques, Personality & Caricature

Leonardo’s mind and its supposed impact on physiognomy and ultimately personality will be the subject for this session. We will look at a wide variety of his drawings of physiological types and ask if these can tell us about the social mores of Leonardo’s times and ultimately how the explorations into the human psyche affected Leonardo’s finished works such as The Last Supper.

Oct
30
Wed
The Course / London: The People Who Shaped A City 5/10
Oct 30 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / London: The People Who Shaped A City 5/10 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

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

In this series of 10 lectures and 10 accompanying walks, ww will look at the ways in which particular groups, often professions, have shaped and been shaped by London. Each theme could provide a course of its own, so we will proceed through a series of snapshots at the activities of these groups and individuals at key moments in the formation of the city.

Architects, like no others, have of course shaped the way the city looks. The history of their interactions is a complex one: from Wren to Seifert, politics has often determined who should build, and what they should build, as much as competence, aesthetics or need.

On 6 November, there will be an accompanying walk around Lincoln’s Inn.

Oct
31
Thu
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of a Universal Man 6/10
Oct 31 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of a Universal Man 6/10 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

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

We have all heard of the great master of the Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci. Speculation regarding the true life and meaning of his work has been rife for centuries. Books such as the Da Vinci Code and many others only serve to confirm and equally to confuse us. So how much do we really know? How did he become such a great artist, how famous was he in his own lifetime, was he rich and where and how did he learn his craft? This series of lectures will give you an insight into the life of this great artist; charting the beginnings of his career, the highs and the lows, and finding out just how and why he became the ultimate and universal genius we now regard him.

Obsession With Nature, Anatomical & Experiment

Leonardo was obsessed with how everything worked and the close relationship between man and nature. Here, we will look at his exploration of the workings of nature and his attempt to understand these processes and thus understand the soul of man. We will look at examples of anatomical drawings that demonstrate Leonardo’s unflinching eye and ability to investigate areas of human anatomy that many would find repulsive.

Nov
7
Thu
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 7/10
Nov 7 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 7/10 @ The Course at the University Women's Club

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

We have all heard of the great master of the Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci. Speculation regarding the true life and meaning of his work has been rife for centuries. Books such as the Da Vinci Code and many others only serve to confirm and equally to confuse us. So how much do we really know? How did he become such a great artist, how famous was he in his own lifetime, was he rich and where and how did he learn his craft? This series of lectures will give you an insight into the life of this great artist; charting the beginnings of his career, the highs and the lows, and finding out just how and why he became the ultimate and universal genius we now regard him.

Drawing Becomes Art

The emergence of drawing as an art form has always been hard to pinpoint. In this lecture, we will look at Leonardo’s drawings and examine how and why this art form might be attributed to him. We will also look at the Burlington Cartoon in London’s National Gallery, its life, history and production, and ask why this unfinished work has been seen as the earliest example of drawing as art and why it holds such a special place in the Gallery’s collection.

Nov
14
Thu
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 8/10
Nov 14 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: The Life of the Universal Man 8/10 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

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

We have all heard of the great master of the Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci. Speculation regarding the true life and meaning of his work has been rife for centuries. Books such as the Da Vinci Code and many others only serve to confirm and equally to confuse us. So how much do we really know? How did he become such a great artist, how famous was he in his own lifetime, was he rich and where and how did he learn his craft? This series of lectures will give you an insight into the life of this great artist; charting the beginnings of his career, the highs and the lows, and finding out just how and why he became the ultimate and universal genius we now regard him.

Signature Projects

We will look in detail at some of Leonardo’s major projects: the Last Supper, The Madonna of the Rock and The Battle of Cascina and discuss how these works were realised, what was the thinking behind them and how do they compare with works by his contemporaries? We will also look at the work of collaborators on these projects and ask how much is theirs and how much Leonardo’s and why do we care?

 

Nov
21
Thu
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci : Life of the Universal Man 9/10
Nov 21 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci : Life of the Universal Man 9/10 @ The Course at the University Women's Club

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

We have all heard of the great master of the Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci. Speculation regarding the true life and meaning of his work has been rife for centuries. Books such as the Da Vinci Code and many others only serve to confirm and equally to confuse us. So how much do we really know? How did he become such a great artist, how famous was he in his own lifetime, was he rich and where and how did he learn his craft? This series of lectures will give you an insight into the life of this great artist; charting the beginnings of his career, the highs and the lows, and finding out just how and why he became the ultimate and universal genius we now regard him.

The Art Of War & Mechanical Engineering

In the middle and latter part of Leonardo’s life, he became increasingly in demand for his designs and this would see him ultimately working for powerful patrons such as Isabella d’Este and Lodovico Sforza. We will look at his complex mechanical designs for flying machines, underwater breathing apparatus and ultimately weapons of mass destruction. Why did Leonardo carry out such work and what were his thoughts on these?

Nov
27
Wed
The Course / London: the people who shaped a city (10/20)
Nov 27 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / London: the people who shaped a city (10/20) @ The Course at The University Women's Club

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

In this series of 20 paired lectures and walks, we will look at the ways in which particular groups, often professions, have shaped and been shaped by London. Each theme could provide a course of its own, so we will proceed through a series of snapshots at the activities of those groups and individuals at key moments in the formation of the city.

Engineers

Engineers, often overlooked in favour of more obviously glamourous professions, have made the city operate – the first underground railway, a pioneering sewerage system and a succession of fabulous bridges. London, sitting on clay rather than a bed of rock has provided as many challenges as opportunities in its construction.

The week following the lecture (4 December) there will be an accompanying walk along the South Bank of the Thames.

Nov
28
Thu
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: Life of the Universal Man 10/10
Nov 28 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Leonardo da Vinci: Life of the Universal Man 10/10 @ The Course at The University Women's Club

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

We have all heard of the great master of the Renaissance – Leonardo da Vinci. Speculation regarding the true life and meaning of his work has been rife for centuries. Books such as the Da Vinci Code and many others only serve to confirm and equally to confuse us. So how much do we really know? How did he become such a great artist, how famous was he in his own lifetime, was he rich and where and how did he learn his craft? This series of lectures will give you an insight into the life of this great artist; charting the beginnings of his career, the highs and the lows, and finding out just how and why he became the ultimate and universal genius we now regard him.

His Legacy, School, Influences And Followers

In our final session, we consider artists such as Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio (about 1467 – 1516) and Francesco Melzi (1493 – 1570) with whom Leonardo worked and trained and compare their works with those of the Master. We will also look at his followers such as Antonio Allegri (active 1494 – 1534), known as Correggio. What did they learn and what can we learn from these works? We will examine the misattributions surrounding Leonardo’s collaborators and finally the current obsession with Leonardo culminating in the sale of the Salvator Mundi.