We have all heard of the great Renaissance master Michelangelo, indeed the recent Michelangelo blockbuster sell-out exhibition at the British Museum only served to confirm the continued interest in this artist. But how much do we really know about his life and work, how did he become such great artists, was he as famous in his own lifetime as he is now, was he rich in comparison to our modern times, and where and how did he learn his craft? How long did it take Michelangelo to fresco the Sistine Chapel ceiling, how did he do it, what was his relationship with the papacy and his contemporaries such as Raphael, indeed how real was the competition and struggle for dominance between artists?
This lecture will explore the life of this long-lived artist from his early career and influences including his training in the workshop of Domenico Ghirlandaio and working methods, from his early fame establish in discipline sculpture to the triumph of 'David', his first forays in the medium of paint, thorough to Michelangelo's ultimate triumph - the Sistine Chapel frescos. Finally this lecture will look at Michelangelo's late, so-called presentation drawings, his late sculptures, and long life peripatetic existence which finally ended in Florence. Through the exploration of Michelangelo's extraordinary long life this lecture will aim to provide the listener with an insight into the life of the great Renaissance master and ultimately an understanding of his works through the historical and social context within which this artist worked.Short Bibliographic Reading List:
About Leslie Primo
Leslie Primo holds a BA in Art History and an MA in Renaissance Studies from Birkbeck College, University of London. Was Visiting Lecturer in Art History at the University of Reading in 2005 and 2007, and gives lectures and guided tours, plus special talks, at both the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. Also lectures at the City Literary Institute, and has presented a series of talks at the National Maritime Museum and the Courtauld Institute.
Leslie entertained us with "The Cult of the South Pacific: from Cook to Gauguin" in November 2011.
This promises to be an exciting trip through old cities, gems of the Dutch Golden Age, old masters in excitingly renovated museums, stunningly extended museums and new museums!
Amsterdam: Rembrandt´s home in the 17th c, Holland´s Golden Age, a very rich period for the Dutch, money wise and art wise! It produced the most beautiful urban extension, the canal belt, a world heritage site, where the rich commissioned houses and paintings to furnish them! The canal belt has now got its own museum to tell its history. The 19th c urban extension, the Museum square, with its Concertgebouw and 3 important museums to house the Dutch Masters: the Rijksmuseum, completely restored and reopened in 2013 after 10 years, the van Gogh Museum which has a new entrance between the old 19th c building and the 20th c wing, and the Stedelijk Museum for modern art which has just opened a revolutionary extension in the shape of a gigantic bathtub.
The Hague: home of the King and Queen, Parliament and the International Court of Law and also the 17th c Mauritshuis which, after being restored and extended with a new building and connected by a subterranean tunnel, opened in June 2014. It is the home of Vermeer´s Girl with the Pearl Earring. The Hague is also home of the Hague school of painters, a group of 19th c Dutch impressionist painters like Mauve, Breitner and Mesdag who painted Holland´s largest painting, 15 x 115 metres.
Delft: small Amsterdam with canals, a beautiful 17th c city, home of Vermeer, so where The Girl with the Pearl Earring was born! Though it does not own any Vermeer paintings it is now the proud owner of a new museum, the Vermeer Centre, where it has copies of all 37 of his paintings and an extensive exhibition of his life and works and painting technique. Also home to the Royal Delft Blue factory, dating from the 17th c, and so present in many 17th c Dutch masters.
About Helen Sijsling
Born in Australia, lived in The Netherlands, studied English language and Literature at the University of Leyden and read English literature and philosophy at Oxford University. Was a teacher of English for more than 18 years. Studied History of Art at the University of Leyden and Educational Management at the University of Amsterdam. Was a management consultant for education for 15 years, advising directors of secondary schools on educational improvement and training teachers in modern ways of teaching. Has given lectures to the history group and Probus on Spanish historical subjects and Nadfas Nerja on art historical subjects. Has been lecturing in Holland since 1995 on among other subjects brain research related to learning.
About Rafael Anderson
Rafael spent his earlier architectural career working in London, Scandinavia, India and Hong Kong. 12 years ago he came to Southern Spain where he has practiced primarily in La Alpujarra and Granada, recently completing the restoration of a listed early 16th Century Islamic house in the Albayzin. He has a particular interest in Spanish history and architecture and has lectured widely on related subjects.
He talked to us last season about the 'Bilbao effect' on Spanish architecture.
Despite his German birth and his Italian musical training, Handel remains one of the most important composers that England ever nurtured. Not only did his music have direct influence on his musical contemporaries, but his larger-than-life personality had a profound effect on the literary, visual and decorative arts as well - both in his lifetime and after his death, in 1759. By exploring the works of the French sculptor Roubiliac, the paintings of Hudson and Denner, the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, the novels of Samuel Butler, the Crystal Palace, the chimes of Westminster, as well as compositions by Sullivan and Tippett, the lecture assesses the cultural influences Handel had on a nation, as he once wrote, "from whom I have receiv'd so Generous a protection".
About Peter Medhurst
Peter appears in the UK and abroad as musician and scholar, giving recitals and delivering illustrated lectures on music and the arts. He studied singing and early keyboard instruments at the Royal College of Music and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. All lectures are presented digitally. Lectures include live music sung and played on piano, virginals or clavichord. Musical programmes devised for special or larger scale events. Peter will take groups to Berlin, Dresden, the Rhine, Vienna, Salzburg, Venice and Delft.
Rembrandt van Rijn is one of the world's greatest artists. The drama of his lighting effects and the warmth of his palette have been celebrated for generations. This lecture sets out to demonstrate the breadth of his work and is presented chronologically. Rembrandt triumphed in the treatment of a considerable range of genres: self portraits, portraits, religious paintings, historical paintings and literary and mythological subjects. In tandem with the paintings I shall reflect upon the key moments of his biography and consider recent discoveries in Rembrandt studies.
About David Cross
Hon. Research Fellow, Durham University. Founder of the Cumbrian Biographical Project. Past President of Cumbria DFAS. Author of biography of George Romney. Specialises in Lake District artists of all genres. Art history lecturer to undergraduate and adult classes at Universities. Catalogue of Paintings in Durham Castle (2002). Researching Public Sculpture and Monuments in Cumbria. Lecturer on cruises.
In this lecture I will revisit the old debate "Is photography art?" I will take examples of the work of some famous and successful photographers to illustrate what goes into the making of a great picture. I will then show how I try to incorporate some of these artistic principles into my own photographs in general, and in particular of the birds of Spain and Europe, America and S E Asia.
About Stephen Powell
The following was taken from Stephen's website
"In my youth I enjoyed nature and wildlife watching. As a young man I wanted to travel and see the World. Now, after twenty eight years of seafaring and sixteen years lecturing in a nautical college I have the time and inclination to continue where I left off as a boy. I live with my wife Elena near the white village of Frigiliana in the mountainous Axarquia region of Andalucia. It is mostly around here that we spend many happy hours watching and photographing birds, butterflies, dragonflies and any other forms of wildlife we encounter. This blog is a diary of our observations and experiences in the field. We also like to travel and this provides a space to record photographs of some of the places we visit."
The film and photography of Herbert Ponting and Frank Hurley, and the paintings of Dr Edward Wilson and George Marston capture the wonderful world of Antarctica for the first time. Their images enthralled a whole nation with their beauty and prepared the way for today's television natural history programmes. They are a poignant legacy because of the hardship and tragedy that haunts them.
About Peter Warwick
An author, historian and major event organiser, and a recognised authority on Nelson. Has lectured at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich Foundation, Royal Naval Museum, Royal Institution and at schools, colleges and universities. Specialises in naval and polar history, and has lecture series for Atlantic, Caribbean Mediterranean and Baltic voyages. Chairs the 1805 Club, the International Committee for Waterloo 200, and Thames Alive which is currently preparing for The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. Was vice-chairman of the Official Nelson Commemorations Committee and played a key role in the planning and organisation of the Trafalgar Festival and Sea Britain 2005.
The architect Charles Robert Cockerell, who won the first Royal Gold Medal for architecture in 1848 and was president of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1860, had some amazing adventures in Greece during his 20s. Drinking with Byron, excavating stunning artworks, bribing Turkish pashas, auctioning his finds, and sometimes only escaping by the skin of his teeth, he acquired the sculptures of the Temple of Aphaia on Aigine (now in the Munich Glyptothek) and the Temple of Apollo at Bassai (now in the British Museum), and incorporated certain features of the latter into the design of Oxford's Ashmolean Museum. This talk, illustrated with both photographs and video footage, follows his itinerary from England to Turkey and back, examines the temples and their beautiful decoration, and raises interesting issues surrounding the collection and retention of antiquities.
About Stephen Kershaw As a Classics Tutor for Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Professor of History of Art for the European Studies Program of Rhodes College and The University of the South, and as a guest speaker on cruise ships, he has spent much of the last 30 years travelling extensively in the world of the Greeks and Romans both physically and intellectually. He has recently published A Brief Guide to the Greek Myths (Robinson, 2007) and A Brief Guide to Classical Civilization (Robinson, 2010) and is currently working on A Brief Guide to the Roman Empire.
About Rev. Daniel Muñoz
Daniel is the programme director of Los Olivos, a creative eco-retreat in the Sierra Nevada National Park (Granada). He is a visiting lecturer at Sarum College, Salisbury on Spanish Golden Age mystic literature and author of "Transformed by the Beloved: a guide to spiritual formation with John of the Cross" (BRF, 2014). Daniel worked as an Anglican priest in the Oxford Diocese between 2001-2010 and currently serves the diocese as an advisor on spirituality, theology and imagination to the Bishop of Buckingham. He is in the process of completing a PhD on Sciences of Religions at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid.
About Gail Turner
Historian, art historian, and painter, Gail Turner has been a lecturer for NADFAS since 1992; she lectures regularly for The Art Fund, Cambridge University International Summer Schools, the Courtauld Institute, the V&A, Inscape, Gainsborough's House and other arts organisations, and has led tours to Spain. Also contributes to arts magazines. Lectured in the Prado and Royal Academy of San Fernando in Madrid 1983-5, was Deputy Curator of Keats Shelley Memorial House, Rome 1978-80, manager of the Courtauld Slide Scheme 1977, and Christie's consultant (Ill. MSS) 1976.
In the autumn of 2015, the National Gallery, London, is holding an exhibition of Goya's portraits. Gail will be preparing a lecture on this fascinating theme Gail's lectures are now all fully digital. Gail's website
This lecture is based on Julian's book about British and American artists who discovered Venice in the early 19th century starting with Turner and progressing through Samuel Prout, John Ruskin, Clarkson Stanfield, Myles Birkett Foster, Whistler, Sargent, and Walter Sickert as well as some of the lesser know artists. he looks at the social life of the British and Americans living in Venice, a society centred around the Curtis family at the Palazzo Barbaro on the Grand Canal, where Sargent, Henry James and others stayed. He looks at Ruskin's Stones of Venice, the first guide book to Venice, and how the arrival of the railway brought tourism and money to what was a very poor city. He looks at why Whistler was in Venice and how he produced a wonderful series of etchings and pastels over the course of just 18 months.
About Julian Halsby
Julian Halsby studied History of Art at Cambridge. Formerly Senior Lecturer and Head of Department at Croydon College of Art. Publications include Venice - the Artist's Vision (1990, 1995), The Art of Diana Armfield RA (1995), Dictionary of Scottish Painters (1990, 1998, 2001, 4th edition 2010), A Hand to Obey the Demon's Eye (2000), Scottish Watercolours 1740 - 1940 (1986, 1991), A Private View - David Wolfers and the New Grafton Gallery (2002). Interviews artists for The Artist Magazine and is a member of the International Association of Art Critics and The Critics Circle. A practising artist, he was elected to the Royal Society of British Artists in 1994 and appointed Keeper in 2010. Julian's website