Philosophy talks in London

Apr
29
Mon
Porphyry and the Philosophic Death
Apr 29 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Porphyry and the Philosophic Death @ Cecil Sharp House

One of the central themes of Platonic philosophy is the idea of the immaterial soul giving life to the body it occupies, but being “separable” from it – in other words its identity and integrity is not dependent upon the body. In the case of humans, this soul is marked by its ability to both reason and choose to live virtuously: what are the implications of this view? Porphyry in a short work sometimes known under the title “Auxiliaries to the Perception of Intelligibles” discusses important concepts which underlie this view – in what way the soul is attached to the material body; what kind of life leads to our recovery of a full independence; the nature of philosophy and the part it plays in that recovery. We will explore both passages from Porphyry’s treatise and extracts from Plato’s Phaedo – the dialogue which clearly inspired the work.

No previous experience of formal philosophy is required.

Entrance in free, but donations between £3-5 will be welcomed.

A PDF download of the extract we will be reading is available on our website together with further details of this and other Prometheus Trust’s activities: www.prometheustrust.co.uk (the PDF is on the “London Monday Evenings” page.)

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
20
Mon
Plotinus on Beauty – 1st of two evening sessions
May 20 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Plotinus, one of the sages of the Platonic tradition wrote two treatises that explored Beauty (Ennead I, 6 – On Beauty & Ennead V, 8 – On the Intelligible Beauty). Over two successive sessions (20th May and 3rd June) we plan to look at passages from these treatises, and explore some of Plotinus’ questions and themes – What is Beauty? What is the relation of beauty to virtue? How are we to participate in it? How does beauty manifest at different levels? The god-like contemplation of the inner Beauty of the Intelligible world.

No previous experience of formal philosophy is required.

Entrance in free, but donations between £3-5 will be welcomed.

 

A PDF download of the extract we will be reading is available on our website together with further details of this and other Prometheus Trust’s activities: www.prometheustrust.co.uk (the PDF is on the “London Monday Evenings” page.)

“No eye ever saw the sun without becoming sun-like, nor can a soul see beauty without becoming beautiful.”

 

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
3
Mon
Plotinus on Beauty 2nd of 2 evening sessions
Jun 3 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Plotinus, one of the sages of the Platonic tradition wrote two treatises that explored Beauty (Ennead I, 6 – On Beauty & Ennead V, 8 – On the Intelligible Beauty). This is the second of two evenings (20th May and 3rd June – we will begin this second one with a summary of the main points of the first one) where we plan to look at passages from these treatises, and explore some of Plotinus’ questions and themes – What is Beauty? What is the relation of beauty to virtue? How are we to participate in it? How does beauty manifest at different levels? The god-like contemplation of the inner Beauty of the Intelligible world.

No previous experience of formal philosophy is required.

Entrance in free, but donations between £3-5 will be welcomed.

 

A PDF download of the extract we will be reading is available on our website together with further details of this and other Prometheus Trust’s activities: www.prometheustrust.co.uk (the PDF is on the “London Monday Evenings” page.)

“No eye ever saw the sun without becoming sun-like, nor can a soul see beauty without becoming beautiful.”

Jun
4
Tue
The Course / Art & Critical Analysis (Vasari and Michelangelo) 4/8
Jun 4 @ 10:45 am – 12:45 pm
The Course / Art & Critical Analysis (Vasari and Michelangelo) 4/8 @ 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?

Giorgio Vasari and ‘The Divine Michelangelo’

The Signature Projects and their critical reception (1494-1564)

In his time, Michelangelo was the most written about artist and also the first to have literature published about him in his own lifetime. We will look at the uneasy relationship between Michelangelo, the artist and Giorgio Vasari, the art historian, as well as others who wrote about him. How did such adulation affect him and his work? We will also look at the development of the man through his most iconic works and evaluate their criticism through writing that survives and is still in publication.

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
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.

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.

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”.