please wait ...

2020-21 season's lectures   Please note - this list is incomplete

* morning lecture

Please note - the details for this season have not yet been finalised

Unless otherwise stated, all lectures are in the Cultural Centre, calle Granada, Nerja and start at 6pm.
Lecture date: October 20th 2020(18:00 in the Cultural Centre, Nerja)
Amadeo Modigliani and Bohemian Paris 1906 - 1920
Julian Halsby

Modigliani remains one of the most popular artists of the 20th century.

He was born in Italy but moved to Paris in 1906 starting to live a Bohemian lifestyle drifting from studio to studio, drinking heavily and abusing his body with drugs.

In 1910 he moved from Montmartre to Montparnasse which became the centre of artistic Paris. He was a close friend of Maurice Utrillo, Picasso, Max Jacob, Moise Kisling, Chaïm Soutine and many other painters and writers who made up Bohemian Paris.

I discuss the influences on his painting and sculpture including Cézanne, African art and Cubism and show how he developed a highly individual style of his own.

I look at his haunting portraits and sensual nudes while exploring the Bohemian life of Montmartre.

In 1917 Modigliani started painting nudes looking back to the Italian Renaissance for inspiration.

These wonderful, sensual paintings are amongst the finest nudes of the 20th century. Modigliani worked fast applying his paint with a sensitive and exciting technique and his sense of design and drawing are exceptional.

Tragically he died in 1920 of meningitis just as his work was becoming appreciated. His partner Jeanne Hebuterne jumped to her death the day after her beloved Modi died.


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 talked to us in May 2015 about British and American artists in Venice, and in February 2018 he told us about the extraoordinary life of Misia Sert.

Julian's website

Lecture date: November 10th 2020(18:00 in the Cultural Centre, Nerja)
RAPHAEL–A Master In The Making. 500th anniversary of his death
Siân Walters MA

Raphael is often referred to as one of the three giants of the High Renaissance in Italy alongside Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci yet his career was short-lived since he died tragically young, aged just 37. Nevertheless in this relatively short space of time he progressed from a series of modest initial commissions in and around his home town of Urbino to the covetous position of one of the leading artists at the court of Pope Julius II.

The Pope was without doubt the most important patron of the arts in Italy and commissioned some of the most sublime and influential works of the early 16th century from this young and gifted painter.

We explore how Raphael achieved this extraordinary rise in status, tracing the development of early works under the influence of Perugino and Pinturicchio to encounters with Michelangelo and Leonardo in Florence, and finally an examination of the later masterpieces of painting and drawing created in Rome


About Siân Walters

From Siân's website :

Siân Walters is an art historian and lectures for the National Gallery, NADFAS (The Arts Society), The Wallace Collection, Friends of the Royal Academy, The London Art History Society, The Art Fund and many other art societies and colleges in the UK and Europe. She was also a lecturer at Surrey University for many years. Having graduated from Cambridge University, Siân spent four years in Italy and France where she worked for the Peggy Guggenheim Museum and the eminent scholar H.C. Robbins Landon. As well as running Art History in Focus, she spends much of the year lecturing abroad, particularly in Italy and Spain, and is well known for her enthusiastic, structured yet informal approach. Siân is delighted to have been nominated by an independent travel company in 2008 and 2009 for the Daily Telegraph’s Best Guide Award. In 2016 she was named a Highly Commended finalist in the Wanderlust World’s Best Guide Awards.

Siân’s specialist areas are 15th and 16th century Italian painting, Spanish Art and Architecture, and the relationship between Dance and Art (she is an honorary advisor to the Nonsuch Historical Dance Society). She has given many lectures on this subject for the National Gallery, including a number of events in conjunction with the gallery's “Renaissance Siena”, “Sacred Made Real”, and “Canaletto and his Rivals” exhibitions. A special lecture in conjunction with the recent Leonardo da Vinci exhibition was also recently commissioned by the gallery, as one of a small number of Friday evening talks given talks by Leonardo specialists and academics.

In 2013 Siân was asked to represent the National Gallery at the international Hay Festival where she gave a number of presentations on the gallery’s recent Titian acquisitions. In 2018 she was invited to be guest lecturer on the inaugural BRAVO Cruise of Performing Arts UK alongside Katherine Jenkins, Julian Lloyd Webber and Ruthie Henshall.

Siân studied music as well as art history: she was awarded a choral exhibition at Cambridge University and a 1st for her dissertation on the paintings of the composer Arnold Schoenberg, and has appeared in a film about Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto. She often arranges art tours which have a musical element, such as an evening at the opera, tickets to a concert or a visit focusing on the musical heritage of a city. In 2007 Sian was invited to give the prestigious annual T Rowland Hughes Lecture at the University of Wales, which in recent years has been given by leading figures in the art world such as Neil Macgregor, Sir Roy Strong and Sir Kyffin Williams.

Siân talked to us about Velázquez in November 2018.

Lecture date: November 24th 2020(18:00 in the Cultural Centre, Nerja)
The Magellan-Elcano Expedition 1519-1522:
The Geostrategy of the First Trip around the World
Manuel Parodi

In 1519 five ships sailed off the coast of Sanlucar de Barrameda by the mouth of the Guadalquivir river, under Magellan's command. Their aim was to get to the Spices Islands, far away in the Eastern Seas, close to China...

When 3 years later one of those ships -the nao Victoria- returned to the very same harbour of Sanlucar commanded by the Spanish sailor Juan Sebastian de Elcano after succeeding in travelling around the World, circumnavigating the Earth for the very first time, everything would change for ever.

We shall talk about the World-wide Geoestrategical situation in the very same days of the Magellan-Elcano Expedition, trying to explain some of the main questions regarding the cultural, economical, political and social changes envolving the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the New World which rose after the First Circumnavigation of the Planet.

Treaty of Tordesillas, 1494


Carlos V Magellan Elcano Antonio Pigafetta


Caprarola Caprarola Caprarola



About Manuel Parodi
Manuel Parodi, historian and archaeologist, has been working on the History of Archaeology in Northern Morocco and Southern Spain since 2005, and has published several books and articles regarding this particular matter. He has also been working in several Archaeological and Historical Research Projects in Morocco since 2005, including the Archaeological Museum of Tetouan, its Archives and historical documents and records.

Manuel talked to us in November 2016 about The Spanish Indiana Jones in North Africa 1900-1948 and in October 2019 about Gadir/Cádiz.

Lecture date: December 15th 2020(18:00 in the Cultural Centre, Nerja)
Santa Claus: the art that turns him from St Nicholas to Father Christmas
Christopher Bradley

Nicholas was an important 4th century Greek bishop at the city of Myra in southern Anatolia. During a lifetime of beneficial deeds, he is said to have saved the lives of three virgins by offering gifts that secures their release. The sea traders of Myra elevated their kindly bishop into the patron saint of sailors, but the rise of Italian power in the region led to his body being stolen from his grave in Myra. The sailors of Bari and Venice hoped that his fame (and body parts) would protect their own busy ports and dangerous journeys.

The seafaring Dutch then adopt Nicholas as their maritime saint and take this idea across to their new territories in North America, where his image changes constantly until he is transformed from St Nicholas to Sinterklaas, finally becoming Santa Claus. This white bearded, red coated jovial gift-giver is brought back across the Atlantic to Britain, where his myth merges with the earlier pagan Father Christmas.

Recommended reading:

‘Santa – a Life’ by Jeremy Seal (Picador 2006)

‘The Basilica of St Nicholas’ by Gerado Cioffari (Levante 2009)



About Christopher Bradley

Expert in the history and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. As a professional tour guide and lecturer he has led groups throughout Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Has written extensively on Arabia and is the author of The Discovery Guide to Yemen, Insight Guide to the Silk Road and Berlitz Guides to The Red Sea; Cairo; Abu Dhabi, Oman and Nile Cruising.

As a photographer has pictures represented by four photographic libraries. As a film producer and cameraman he has made documentaries for the BBC, National Geographic TV and Channel 4.

Christopher is one of our favourite lecturers. Over the last 12 years he has talked to us about the Magi, the Queen of Sheba, Libya, the Treasures of the Silk Road and Roman mosaics.


Lecture date: January 12th 2021(18:00 in the Cultural Centre, Nerja)
From Downton to Gatsby. Jewellery and fashion 1890 – 1929
Andrew Prince

For the series Downton Abbey, Andrew was commissioned to produce many jewels for the main characters, and this inspired him to create a talk based on Downton and the changing styles of the time portrayed.

Jewellery and Fashion are often seen as two entirely separate and distinct fields of design, but this is very far from the case.
In his talk Andrew guides you through the extraordinary periods and events between 1890 and 1929, where the great fashion houses collaborated with the finest of jewellers to produce works of art of outstanding quality and glittering opulence. Along with this he discusses the clients and patrons who commissioned the jewels and how they were worn with the sumptuous gowns.

To accompany his study day, he brings with him many of the pieces used in Downton, so the audience can see what was worn, close up.


about Andrew Prince

Lecture date: January 26th 2021(18:00 in the Cultural Centre, Nerja)
Did the Spanish Inquisition have a bad press?
Exploring the art of half-truths in renaissance Europe
Dani Muñoz

At a time when fake news is used to create new narratives about the world around us, it is fascinating to discover how political and religious propaganda spread through art in renaissance Europe. 
Paintings and drawings became a powerful tool to portray, from different perspectives, the work of one of the most controversial religious institutions in history: the Spanish Inquisition. 
This lecture seeks to explore the complex and dynamic social and religious landscape of c.16th Spain and the role of the Spanish Inquisition in policing and enforcing law and order across the Spanish Empire. 
It is also an attempt to retell the story of the Inquisition through art and new historical data. 




About Daniel Muñoz

Daniel Muñoz is a Lecturer in History of Christianity at the Protestant Faculty of Theology of Madrid.
He was born in Málaga, grew up in Nerja, and studied in the UK and Spain. He was ordained an Anglican minister and served in the Oxford Diocese between 2001-2010. 
Between 2010 and 2018 he was chaplain and programme director at the Los Olivos Anglican retreat centre in the Sierra Nevada national park. 
His interests include the intersections between the arts and spirituality and religion.

Daniel spoke to us about Mystical Painting and Poetry in March2015. 

Lecture date: February 9th 2021(18:00 in the Cultural Centre, Nerja)
40 Years Of Antiques Road Show
Marc Allum

text to go here.


about Marc Allum





Lecture date: March 9th 2021(18:00 in the Cultural Centre, Nerja)
The Imperial Easter Eggs of Carl Fabergé – After the Revolution
Tony Faber


text to be provided






About Toby Faber
Tony Faber is the grandson of the founder of the publishing company Faber and Faber, and grew up steeped in its books. He was managing director for four years and he remains on the board. He is passionate about the firm's success, and intensely proud of his association with it.

He talked to us in May 2017 about the company Faber and Faber.


Image of the egg courtesy of The Forbes Collection, New York. Photographed by Joseph Coscia, Jr. Copyright © All rights reserved.

Lecture date: April 13th 2021(18:00 in the Cultural Centre, Nerja)
The Extraordinary Talent of John Singer Sargent
Brian Healey








About Brian Healey
A senior modern languages teacher in an independent grammar school for many years, I have also enjoyed a successful parallel career since the 1980’s as a professional artist and interior designer. Since 2006 I have been regularly appointed to a number of prestigious ocean and river cruise lines, either as resident artist, guest lecturer on art history or as destination speaker for more than forty countries. Most recently this work has successfully extended to art guiding through important towns and museums in France, Belgium, Holland and Spain.

In March 2017 Brian introduced us to Midsummer Magic -An introduction to some of the glorious paintings of the Nordic Impressionists of the late 19th Century, as well as telling us about Vincent van Gogh's time in Arles. In March 2020 he talked to us about Monet's garden.

Lecture date: April 14th 2021(11:00 in the TBC)
The forgotten Genius of Anders Zorn
Brian Healey
venue: TBC at 11:00






Sommarnöje, 1886


Lecture date: May 11th 2021(18:00 in the Cultural Centre, Nerja)
Political intrigue, Sex and Murder at the Court of the Córdoba Caliphate
Ian Cockburn

text to go here







About Ian Cockburn