Please note - the details for this season have not yet been finalised
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 use about Velázquez in November 2018.
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 Tordesiilas, 1494|
|Carlos V||Magellan||Elcano||Antonio Pigafetta|
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.
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.
‘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.
about 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.
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.
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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 about the company in May 2017.
Image of the egg courtesy of The Forbes Collection, New York. Photographed by Joseph Coscia, Jr. Copyright © All rights reserved.
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.
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About Ian Cockburn