PAST STUDY DAYS FRom January 2021
Wednesday 23 March 2022
Breaking the Mould
Modern Sculpture in Early 20th Century Britain
It is a forbidding challenge to overturn 400 years of accepted definitions and standards in art and create a new language. Sculptors faced the same, if not even greater challenges than painters in re-inventing their conservative, expensive practice geared to the needs of public commissions and private patronage during the early twentieth century. Artists across Europe including Picasso and Matisse, Brancusi and Modigliani, Duchamp-Villon and Boccioni were jettisoning classical baggage and literary lumber in favour of radical experiments in form, material and content. This study day looks at how in Britain carvings by Jacob Epstein, Eric Gill, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and the young Henry Moore engaged with mainland Europe and challenged critical and public taste.
Painting in Britain 1850 – 1914
The study day of 3 lectures aims to give an account of the achievements and developments of painting in Britain from the Pre-Raphaelites to the First World War. It was a dynamic period with the Pre-Raphaelites, the square brush painters of Newlyn and Glasgow, the London Impressionists, the Camden Town School and Roger Fry’s explosive Post-Impressionist exhibitions in London in 1910-12. Some art historians see this period of British painting as backward looking and conventional. Hopefully this study day will change your views on this!
Pomp and Piety
This will include Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, Dowager Queen Jeanne d’Evreux and Jean, Duc de Berry, and will cover a variety of manuscript painting, ivory, stone and alabaster carving, goldsmiths’ work and enamelling – from the 12th, to the late 14th century
The Lure of the Midi:
Modern Artists and the South of France
Monica Bohm Duchen
Ever since the late C19th, seduced by its intense light and sensual colours, visual artists (most of them from the north) have been irresistibly drawn to the Mediterranean coast of France. Claude Monet painted in Antibes in 1888; while in the same year, van Gogh, dreaming of setting up a “Studio of the South”, persuaded Gauguin – with disastrous results – to join him in Arles. Cézanne’s roots, of course, lay in his beloved Midi, to which he returned for good in 1899. Meanwhile, in 1892, Paul Signac sailed into the unspoilt port of St.Tropez, settling there and attracting large numbers of younger artists to the area – among them, his Neo-Impressionist disciples and members of the future Fauve group. In the early 20th century, Renoir would make the Midi his home, as would Bonnard and Matisse. And after the Second World War, so too would Picasso and Chagall.
The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
The Inside View
In-depth look at the history and architecture of the building – and how performances and rehearsals fit into this elegant Victorian theatre. Performance video clips are included and focus on costume and set design. Also discussed is the digital age and how it has been embraced by the opera and ballet worlds
“I am writing to thank those concerned for such an interesting morning with Nigel Bates at the Royal Opera House.”