The Course / The Decorative Arts of Europe (1500 – 2000) Renaissance 2/8

January 17, 2019 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course at The University Womens Club
2 Audley Square
Mayfair, London W1K
Mary Bromley
020 7266 7815

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

In this 8 part series, we will see how in the European tradition, the status of “fine art” tends to be much higher than that of the “decorative arts” though the beauty and virtuosity of the latter can be spell-binding. This is why we have a “temple” to fine art in the centre of London – the National Gallery – while “everything else” is in the Victoria and Albert Museum – which was on the fringes of London when it was built. The difference is also reflected in the huge gap between the market prices of the two arts. Why are the decorative arts undervalued in this way and what are their virtues? This series of lectures explores this intriguing subject.

The Decorative Arts in the Renaissance

The Renaissance is famous for its painters and sculptors but its craftsmen are often forgotten. This lecture will focus on the masterpieces of furniture, metalwork and tapestry that furnished the rooms of Renaissance princes and nobles, exploring the contexts that gave them meaning as well as the materials and techniques that gave them form.