At last, she was married in 1741 (at the age of 19) to Charles-Guillaume Le Normant d'Étiolles, nephew of her guardian, who accepted the match and the large financial incentives that came with it. With him, she had two children, a boy who died the year after his birth in 1741 and Alexandrine-Jeanne (nicknamed "Fanfan"), born August 10, 1744. Contemporary opinion supported by artwork from the time considered Poisson to be quite beautiful, with her small mouth and oval face enlivened by her wit. Her young husband was soon mad about her and she reigned in the fashionable world of Paris. She founded her own salon and the great philosophes soon circled her flame. Mme de Pompadour, pastel by Maurice Quentin de La Tour, shown at the Paris Salon, 1755 (Louvre Museum) Mme de Pompadour, pastel by Maurice Quentin de La Tour, shown at the Paris Salon, 1755 (Louvre Museum)As Reinette became known in society, even the King came to hear of her. Madame Poisson, ever ambitious for the prophecy to succeed, numerous times took Reinette in their carriage to the royal forest in the hope of 'accidentally' encountering the King. At last, Reinette caught the eye of King Louis XV in 1745. A group of courtiers, including her father-in-law, promoted her acquaintance with the monarch, who was still mourning the death of his second official mistress, the Duchesse de Châteauroux. In February 1745, Antoinette was invited to a royal mask ball at Versailles celebrating the marriage of the King's son. At the chosen moment in the Grand Ballroom, eight costumed figures appeared, comically dressed as yew-tree hedges, one of which was the King in disguise. By chance or design, Reinette dressed as Diana, goddess of the Hunt, had found her prey and soon the King removed his headdress and engaged her in courtly conversation. By March, she was a regular visitor and King's mistress, installed at Versailles. He also bought her the estate of Pompadour, a marquisate with title and coat-of-arms. In July, Louis created her a marquise and she was legally separated from her crestfallen husband; on September 14 she was formally presented at court, where she demonstrated her mastery of the highly-mannered court etiquette. She was now 23, a bourgeoise by birth but nonetheless a royal mistress; however, her mother had died too early to see the prophecy come true. Now she commanded the attention of the court. Quickly, alliances, conspiracies, friends, and enemies swirled around her.
Valencia was the cradle for one of the most poetical and birdlike architects ever. The weaver bird makes a fabulous architectural nest, Calatrava and with him many others, are inspired in Valencia to create the most poetical architecture ever seen together.
On this trip to Valencia, we are stopping in Elche and in Cartagena. It will be a quest that will take us through the art history of Spain showing us the best of Iberian art, Roman architecture, the Arab culture, the Romanesque, the Gothic, the Baroque, Modernism and modern architecture. You will see what meets the eye when travelling from Nerja to Valencia, including 3 world heritage sites, works of several prizewinning architects and several mayor art collections, including Sorolla, El Greco, Goya and Picasso. We will investigate different kinds of weaving the past and the present. Just to give a few examples:
About Sarah LentonShe read Theology at King's College London and has spent most of her working life in the theatre. She regularly writes articles for Royal Opera House programmes, lectures at study days, and gives pre-performance talks for both the Royal Opera House and English National Opera. She has written and directed more than 20 shows for the Royal Opera House Linbury Theatre, and gives tours at the London Coliseum. She does live commentary for BBC Radio 3 Opera broadcasts and writes scripts for BBC Radio 4. She is also a cartoonist.
Barcelona is a place where, as one visitor in 1999 put it "virtuosity fuses with delirium". The various political epochs from the Visigoths onwards have been marked by times of cultural transformation, full of change and breaks with the past. Barcelona has been a crossroads of cultures and traditions, a great financial and commercial centre in the high middle ages and one of the most important cities in the Mediterranean. It sits between worlds, individual and independent. We will be looking at significant periods in the city's history, some of the ways this dynamic culture has expressed itself in architecture and the life of the people.About Rafael Anderson & Brenda Challis
Rafael and Brenda have delivered joint lectures over the past two years on aspects of culture and history in Andalusia, and as a counterpoint to this are now extending their field of research to cover their original sphere of interest which is the very different culture of Barcelona. Brenda is fascinated by Barcelona, particularly its Roman and Medieval aspects as she had lived for many years in Canterbury where you cannot escape constant reminders of Roman and Medieval life. Rafael first visited Barcelona in 1980 to carry out an undergraduate research project on the work of Gaudí and has long established links with the country mainly through family. He has had an Architectural practice in the Alpujarra for the last 8 years and now practices in Granada, specializing in the careful restoration of the historic building fabric.
The following was taken from Wikipedia.
Joaquin Sorolla was born on 27 February 1863 in Valencia, Spain. Sorolla was the eldest child born to a tradesman, also named Joaquin Sorolla, and his wife, Concepción Bastida. His sister, Concha, was born a year later. In August 1865, both children were orphaned when their parents died, possibly from cholera. They were thereafter cared for by their maternal aunt and uncle.
He received his initial art education, at the age of fourteen, in his native town, and then under a succession of teachers including Cayetano Capuz, Salustiano Asenjo. At the age of eighteen he travelled to Madrid, vigorously studying master paintings in the Museo del Prado. After completing his military service, at twenty-two Sorolla obtained a grant which enabled a four year term to study painting in Rome, Italy, where he was welcomed by and found stability in the example of F. Pradilla, the director of the Spanish Academy in Rome. A long sojourn to Paris in 1885 provided his first exposure to modern painting; of special influence were exhibitions of Jules Bastien-Lepage and Adolf von Menzel. Back in Rome he studied with José Benlliure, Emilio Sala, and José Villegas.
In 1888, Sorolla returned to Valencia to marry Clotilde García del Castillo, whom he had first met in 1879, while working in her father's studio. By 1895, they would have three children together: Maria, born in 1890, Joaquín, born in 1892, and Elena, born in 1895. In 1890, they moved to Madrid, and for the next decade Sorolla's efforts as an artist were focussed mainly on the production of large canvases of orientalist, mythological, historical, and social subjects, for display in salons and international exhibitions in Madrid, Paris, Venice, Munich, Berlin, and Chicago.
His first striking success was achieved with Another Marguerite (1892), which was awarded a gold medal at the National Exhibition in Madrid, then first prize at the Chicago International Exhibition, where it was acquired and subsequently donated to the Washington University Museum in St. Louis, Missouri. He soon rose to general fame and became the acknowledged head of the modern Spanish school of painting. His picture The Return from Fishing (1894) was much admired at the Paris Salon and was acquired by the state for the Musée du Luxembourg. It indicated the direction of his mature output.
Sorolla painted in 1897 two masterpieces linking art and science: Portrait of Dr. Simarro at the microscope (seen at right) and A Research. These paintings were presented at the National Exhibition of Fine Arts held in Madrid in that year and Sorolla won the Prize of Honour. Here, he presents his friend Simarro as a man of science who transmits his wisdom investigating and, in addition, it is the triumph of naturalism, as it recreates the indoor environment of the laboratory, catching the luminous atmosphere produced by the artificial reddish-yellow light of a gas burner that contrasts with the weak mauvish afternoon light that shines through the window. These paintings may be among the most outstanding world paintings of this genre.
After his death in 1923, Sorolla's widow left many of his paintings to the Spanish public. The paintings eventually formed the collection that is now known as the Museo Sorolla, which was the artist's house in Madrid. The museum opened in 1932. Sorolla's work is represented in museums throughout Spain, Europe, and America, and in many private collections in Europe and America. In 1933, J. Paul Getty purchased ten Impressionist beach scenes done by Sorolla, several of which are now housed in the J. Paul Getty Museum.
In 2007, many of his works were exhibited at the Petit Palais in Paris, France, alongside those of John Singer Sargent, a contemporary who painted in a similar style. In 2009, there was a special exhibition of his works at the Prado in Madrid, Spain. In 2010, an exhibition at the Oscar Niemeyer Museum, in Curitiba, Brazil.
From 1870 until the first World War, throngs of incredibly rich, beautiful and smartly dressed American girls dubbed the "Dollar Princesses" crossed the Atlantic in search of titled husbands. 454 landed their quarry but only 100 managed to marry into the British peerage. The rest settled for Continental European aristocrats. The biggest catches were the British peers of the realm (in descending order of rank) either a Duke, Marquis, Earl, Viscount, or Baron.You'd think from all the romance novels there was an abundance of Dukes. But there are actually only 27 Dukedoms and at any one time, just 2-3 heirs are "available". Six American girls did marry Dukes- five were heiresses (the sixth was a showgirl). In turn, the peers not only gained wives to begat their heirs but more importantly to refill their empty coffers. Keeping up appearances and owning a castle or two was expensive business."
You can read more in an article from 2007 on the Daily Telegraph website. The article discusses an exhibition in that year at The American Museum in Britain.
The seizure of the Bronzes led to a greater appreciation in Europe for African culture. Bronzes are now believed to have been cast in Benin since the thirteenth century, and some in the collection date from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.The Bronzes depict a variety of scenes, including animals, fish, humans and scenes of court life. They were cast in matching pairs (although each was individually made). It is thought that they were originally nailed to walls and pillars in the palace as decoration, some possibly also offering instructive scenes of protocol.
Nigeria, which includes the area of the Kingdom of Benin, bought around 50 Bronzes from the British Museum between the 1950s and 1970s, and has repeatedly called for the return of the remainder, in a case which parallels that of the Elgin Marbles.