Tuesday 16th April 15:06   (CEST)
PROVISIONAL - subject to change

Lecture Programme: 2024-25 season

Nov 19
John Julius Reel
Feb 11
Christopher Aslan Alexander
Mar 25
Helen Sijsling
Apr 15
Alejandra Carazo
Unless otherwise stated, all lectures start at 6pm (Spanish time) and are ...
• in the Cultural Centre, calle Granada, Nerja and also
• available on the internet using Zoom
• available on 'catchup' for a limited period starting the day after the lecture.
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October 15th 2024 (18:00 CEST )
Emperor QianLong 1736-1796: Son of Heaven, Man Of The World
David Rosier
The Qianlong Emperor in court dress
1736 Giuseppe Castiglione
Qianlong was one of the greatest of all the Chinese Emperors. He guided China through a period of unquestionable political, economic and cultural prosperity. His achievements rivalled, if not surpassed, previous periods of exceptional Imperial achievement. Territorially, Qianlong added more than 30 per cent of landmass to the Empire through successful military campaigns and astute diplomacy. He was passionate about preserving his Manchu culture whilst respecting and nurturing other ethnic Chinese cultures. The Emperor travelled his Empire regularly undertaking lavish expeditions to the South and West designed to forge loyalty to his Imperial rule. Despite all these successes as a ruler it is in the fields of art and cultur that Qianlong made the greatest contribution to China’s heritage. Qianlong was a noted scholar who during his lifetime wrote and published over 43,000 poems, painted on virtually a daily basis and was accomplished in the art of calligraphy.
The Qianlong Emperor in Ceremonial Armour on Horseback
1758 Giuseppe Castiglione
It was as a patron, collector, and curator, of Fine Art and Antiques thatQianlong created his greatest legacy. He amassed a vast treasure trove of works of art from previous dynasties or which represented the finest contemporary workmanship. His collection spanned all genres of the established arts. This lecture will provide an insight into Qianlong, not only as a highly successful Emperor of China, but also as a scholar and ‘ultimate’ collector and curator of fine art.
About David Rosier
David Rosier is a Chartered Insurer, and Fellow of the Assurance Medical Society, by profession with a specialization in medical risk assessment. He has spent in excess of 25 years focusing on business in Asia, and China in particular, and for 14 years he and his family lived in Hong Kong. During the years in Hong Kong David, and his wife Wendy, created a ‘World Class’ collection of in excess of 500 Imperial Qing Dynasty, and related items, of costume and dress accessories. This collection was acquired, in its entirety, in late 2019 by The Shanghai Museum, Peoples Republic of China. David is a past committee member of the Hong Kong Textile Society. Since returning to the UK David has lectured extensively on Chinese Court Costume of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) plus the history, culture, and arts of Imperial China. Groups visited have been as diverse as The National Trust, Textile Guilds, Confucius Institutes, Art Fund and Oriental focused societies, plus university departments and museums. David is an Accredited Lecturer for The Arts Society and lectures regularly around the UK and Europe plus tours of societies in Australia, New Zealand, and SE Asia. Additionally, he has organised and led tours to China that focus on Imperial History, Art, and Culture. David is also a regular contributor for publications such as China Eye, Oriental Art, and several textile related publications.
 
Sponsor: Currencies Direct

How to watch

• in person in the Cultural Centre
• on the internet using Zoom
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November 12th 2024 (18:00 CET )
Gleaming Spires of London- An Armchair Tour of London's Finest Buildings
Ian Swankie
The Gherkin
One Undershaft (2nd proposal)
Leadenhall
Bishopsgate
London boasts an extraordinary range of architecture and this talk reveals the evolution of the capital through its great buildings. We start with a brief look at the development of architecture in the capital and then focus on the modern. Whether we like it or not, there are currently well over 500 new buildings planned in London over twenty storeys high, including dozens more than twice this height. This is in addition to those already completed. This talk looks at the best of these buildings including the cutting-edge designs of the latest towers such as the Shard, the Walkie-Talkie, the Cheesegrater and the Scalpel. We discover their extraordinary architectural and engineering challenges but also examine the controversies and difficult social decisions needed to manage this dramatically changing skyline.
About Ian Swankie
Ian Swankie is a Londoner with a passion for art and architecture. He is an official guide at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Guildhall Art Gallery and St Paul’s Cathedral, and gives tours at each venue. He is also a qualified and active freelance London guide and leads regular tours for various corporations and organisations. Since 2012 he has led a popular weekly independent art lecture group in his hometown of Richmond in West London, and he gives talks on a variety of subjects. He is an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society, and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Art Scholars, one of the City Livery Companies. Ian talked to us in May 2022 about Grayson Perry.
 
Sponsor: Blevins Franks

How to watch

• in person in the Cultural Centre, Nerja
• on the internet using Zoom
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November 19th 2024 (12:00 CET ) morning lecture 
My Half Orange
John Julius Reel
In his late thirties, John Julius Reel left his native New York for Seville, hoping to reinvent himself, find his voice as a writer, and cast off the shadow of his famous father. When his girlfriend dumped him after a month-long visit, the last tie was cut, and he had to face his future from his stark, mosquito-infested rented room. Alone in a foreign land, struggling with the language, and longing to find his place and purpose in the world, he began to rebuild his life. What follows is a tender, comical, and illuminating story about what it means to learn to speak and think in a new way, and to spend so much time away from home that the foreign becomes familiar. This heartwarming chronicle filled with Sevillian delicias (soccer, Iberian ham, creative cursing, and one extraordinary woman) reveals how love, language, and culture can transform your life forever. The book |i|My Half Orange: A Story of Love and Language in Seville|/i| was recently published by Tortoise Books in the U.S. and the U.K.
About John Julius Reel
I moved from Staten Island, New York to Seville in 2005. From 2009 to 2013, I published a weekly column in Diario de Sevilla, in Spanish, called La Sevilla del Guiri. In 2014, a collection of those columns was anthologized in ¿Qué pinto yo aquí?, published by Editorial Confluencias in Almería. Currently, I collaborate on three Canal Sur Radio programs: Las Mañanas de Andalucía con Jesús Vigorra, Gente de Andalucía con Pepe da Rosa, and Anda Levantawith the malageño José Antonio Domínguez. In 2022, I landed a supporting role in Nonio Parejo’s feature film 6 toreros yankees 6, which had its grand opening at the Seville European Film Festival. I have given talks at the University of Almería, at Casa Gerald Brenan in Churriana, and at The American Women’s Club of Seville. My Facebook page Spanglish in a Minute has over 200,000 followers and my Instagram account @johnjuliusreel has over 350,000. I also passionately review memoirs on my YouTube channel Book Rants.
 

How to watch

• in person in the Museum, Nerja (NB not available on the internet)
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November 26th 2024 (18:00 CET )
The Phoenicians on the Costa del Sol The Dawn of a New World
Manuel Parodí
"Gadir fenicia!"
Arturo Redondo
Salammbô
Alphons Mucha 1896
The Phoenicians, a people of merchants and sailors established on the Eastern Coast of the Mediterranean Sea, were in full contact with the main civilizations around them from the Third Millennium BC interacting with all their neighbours, much stronger than them. Mentioned in the Iliad and in the Odyssey, and also in the Old Testament and in the ancient texts of The Egyptian Pharaohs, this intrepid people of sailors, merchants and pirates, sailed the length and breadth of the Mediterranean, driven by the need to trade and by the pressure of the empires of the Near East, such as Assyria, Babylon and Egypt. They created maritime trade routes all through the Mediterranean Sea, founding a strong network of port cities along the coast of North Africa from Libya to present-day Morocco, establishing also relevant urban settlements on the coasts of the major islands of the Mediterranean such as Sicily and Sardinia, and settling down on the coasts of Southern Spain as well. The Costa del Sol would become one of the main Phoenician coastal regions of the Mediterranean shores. Here the Phoenicians would create a New World for themselves. In this lecture we will approach their adventures through the Mediterranean Sea, their wars and conflicts, their beliefs, hopes and fears, and the reasons and nature of that New World the Phoenician Civilization created on the Costa del Sol almost 3000 years ago.
About Manuel Parodí
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 has talked to us several times: in November 2016 about The Spanish Indiana Jones in North Africa 1900-1948, in October 2019 about Gadir/Cádiz and in November 2020 about the Magellan-Elcano circumnavigation of the world. His most recent talk was in March 2022 when he discussed Vikings in Al Andalus.
 
Sponsor: Dr Rik Heymans

How to watch

• in person in the Cultural Centre, Nerja
• on the internet using Zoom
• on our YouTube channel for a limited period starting the day after the lecture.
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December 10th 2024 (18:00 CET )
Snow and ice: Holland frozen in time
Jane Choy
Winter Landscape with Ice Skaters
1608 Hendrick Averkamp
Ice Scene near a Wooden Tower
1646 Jan van Goyen
The Windmill at Wijk bij Duurstede
1670 Ruisdael
Landscape with a Farmstead
1650 Rembrandt
Whereas nowadays Dutch winters tend to be rather mild, in the 17th century there were lengthy periods of frost. Unfortunately old-fashioned Dutch winters with severe frosts, thick layers of snow and frozen lakes and canals with everyone skating have become rare. But these Dutch winters of bygone times were captured in paintings by the great masters of the Dutch Golden Age. In the comfort of a warm interior I would like to show you how this typically Dutch genre developed and talk about some of the famous works by artists such as Hendrick Avercamp, who specialised in winter landscapes, but also Jacob van Ruisdael, Jan van Goyen and even Rembrandt who showed the traditional Dutch landscape at its coldest.
About Jane Choy
Jane E. Choy-Thurlow is a docent and enjoys giving lectures and tours at the Mauritshuis, Prince William V gallery and Huygens Museum Hofwijck in The Hague, The Netherlands. A few of the many exhibits in the Mauritshuis she has been part of are: the legendary Johannes Vermeer exhibit, Rembrandt by Himself and Holbein, Portraitist of the Renaissance. An active member of The Arts Society, she is a founding member of DFAS of The Hague and has fulfilled committee positions including chairman and Mainland Europe Area Chairman, Area Trainer and New Societies/Support committee member. She received her BSc from Salem State University, USA, her MEd from Trinity College Dublin and continued art history studies at Leiden University. In 2018 she was given the honour of Knight in the Order of Oranje Nassau by the Dutch King Willem Alexander of Orange for her knowledge and work in the field of the Arts especially 15th to 17th century Dutch and Flemish art.
 
Sponsor: Casa Select

How to watch

• in person in the Cultural Centre
• on the internet using Zoom
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January 14th 2025 (18:00 CET )
Arte Nova and Art Deco in Porto and Aveiro, Portugal
Anne Anderson PhD BA FSA
The Casa Mário Pessoa
São Bento
Villa Serralves
Like many countries enjoying great prosperity at the end of the 19th century, Portuguese architects and designers developed their own variant of Art Nouveau, known locally as Arte Nova. These buildings are often distinguished by their Azulejos or hand painted tile panels. Azulejos are found on the interior and exterior of every type of building from churches to railway stations, the most notably example being the 20,000 or so azulejo tiles used to decorate the vestibule of Porto’s São Bento railway station, built in 1905-16 by the architect Marques da Silva. Tiles were also used extensively in Aveiro, where most of the Arte Nova buildings are built in adobe (sun-dried clay bricks). The Casa Mário Pessoa (1906-09), the most striking building in Averio, is attributed to Francisco Augusto da Silva Rocha, who headed the local Arte Nova school. Built for the entrepreneur Mário Belmonte Pessoa, the residence is a riot of colour as well as tiles. Returning to Porto our virtual tour ends with the Villa Serralves, the finest Art Deco residence in Portugal. Affectionately known as the ‘Pink House’, this ‘Streamline Modern’ villa reflects the sophisticated taste of its owner, Carlos Alberto Cabral, 2nd Count of Vizela. Visiting the 1925 International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts held in Paris, Cabral became acquainted with the leading architects and designers of the day. His personal vision was realised by architect Charles Siclis, interior designer Émile–Jacques Ruhlmann, and landscape architect Jacques Gréber. The stunning gardens are a perfect place to relax at the end of the day.
About Anne Anderson
From 1993-2007 Anne was a senior lecturer on the Fine Arts Valuation degree courses at Southampton Solent University, where she specialized in the Aesthetic Movement, Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau and Modernism. She has published books on the Pre-Raphaelites, Edward Burne-Jones, and Art Nouveau Architecture. Her academic papers have appeared in many well-respected journals including Design History; The British Art Journal; and Victorian Literature and Culture. Anne has also curated four national exhibitions, mostly recently Beyond the Brotherhood The Pre-Raphaelite Legacy (2019-20). American fellowships held include the Huntington Library, CA and the American Antiquarian Society, MA. Anne’s career as an international speaker has taken her all over the world from Australia to Canada. She has also lectured on several cruise ships, Swan Hellenic’s Minerva, the Spirit of Adventure and the Hebridean. Anne talked to us about Ikea in January 2019.
 

How to watch

• in person in the Cultural Centre
• on the internet using Zoom
• on our YouTube channel for a limited period starting the day after the lecture.
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January 28th 2025 (18:00 CET )
Hunting the Borderlands in Ronda
Rafa Anderson BA(hons) Arch, Dip Arch, RIBA
Casa del Rey Moro
Water mines
Mirador
El Tajo
Ronda is an intricate jewel in Andalusia, dense with beauty and symbolism. Its character has largely been defined by the role it played on the borderlands of the Nazrid kingdom, that diaphanous frontier continually in flux, expanding and contracting over centuries in the delicate negotiation between Christian and Muslim states. This citadel in the sky, protected by the rugged Serrania, has become a land of fable on both sides, and we will weave our story across these borderlands to discover the treasures within.
About Rafa 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. Rafa is no stranger to Nerja, having to talked to us on a range of subjects over the years
 
Sponsor: De Cotta Law

How to watch

• in person in the Cultural Centre, Nerja
• on the internet using Zoom
• on our YouTube channel for a limited period starting the day after the lecture.
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February 11th 2025 (18:00 CET )
Unravelling the Silk Road
Christopher Aslan Alexander
Wool, cotton and silk have each played a crucial role in the fortunes of Central Asia. Wool created the clothing and housing needed by the great nomadic cultures that were to dominate Middle Asia. Silk was more valuable than gold and used as currency, creating a network of trading routes that led to the first outbreak of globalisation. Cotton was the cause of Russian and then Soviet Colonisation and continues to cause controversy today as well as human misery and environmental catastrophe The felts, carpets, embroideries, robes and veils of the Silk Road stratified wealth, displayed religious and political entrenchments and changed the fortunes of this fascinating part of the world; a meeting place between Mohammed and Marx.
About Christopher Aslan Alexander
Chris Aslan was born in Turkey (hence the name Aslan) and spent his childhood there and in war-torn Beirut. After school, Chris spent two years at sea before studying Media and journalism at Leicester University. He then moved to Khiva, a desert oasis in Uzbekistan, establishing a UNESCO workshop reviving fifteenth century carpet designs and embroideries, and becoming the largest non-government employer in town. He was kicked out as part of an anti-Western purge, and took a year in Cambridge to write A Carpet Ride to Khiva. Chris then spent several years in the Pamirs mountains of Tajikistan, training yak herders to comb their yaks for their cashmere-like down. Next came a couple more years in Kyrgyzstan living in the world’s largest natural walnut forest and establishing a wood-carving workshop. Since then, Chris has studied and rowed at Oxford, and is now based in Cambridge, but with plans to move to North Cyprus. When he’s not lecturing for The Arts Society, he writes. His latest book, Unravelling the Silk Road, is published by Icon Books. Chris also takes tours to Central Asia, returning whenever he can, having left a large chunk of his heart out there.
 

How to watch

• in person in the Cultural Centre
• on the internet using Zoom
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March 11th 2025 (18:00 CET )
The Borgias, the most infamous family in history?
Sarah Dunant
Pope Alexander VI
Pinturicchio
Cesare Borgia
Lucrezia Borgia
Murder, poison, corruption and incest: all perfect ingredients for sensational popular culture. But in an age known for its brutality and church corruption were the Borgias really so bad? This sumptuous illustrated lecture reveals the real story of the family that dominated the Papacy and Italian politics during the last decade of the 15th century: the wily, charismatic, womaniser, Pope Alexander, his sociopathic son, Cesare, cardinal, general and the model for “The Prince” by Machiavelli, himself a character in their story, and his adored daughter, Lucrezia Borgia who moves from “the greatest whore in Rome” to a devout and treasured duchess of the city of Ferrara. Sometimes truth is more intoxicating than myth.
About Sarah Dunant
Novelist, broadcaster and critic. Sarah read history at Cambridge, then worked for many years as a cultural journalist in radio and television on such programmes as Kaleidoscope (BBC Radio 4), The Late Show (BBC 2), and Night Waves/Free thinking (BBC Radio 3). She has published thirteen novels, taught renaissance studies at Washington University, St Louis and lectured around the world at festivals and conferences. Her last five novels have been set within the Italian Renaissance. In the Name of the Family completes the story of the Borgia family and the remarkable period of Italian history in which they lived. She is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s A POINT OF VIEW and these talks, alongside her series on history for Radio 4, When Greeks Flew Kites are available on podcast or BBC sounds.
 
Sponsor: Blevins Franks

How to watch

• in person in the Cultural Centre
• on the internet using Zoom
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March 25th 2025 (18:00 CET )
Famous Freemason Artists
Helen Sijsling
From Mozart to Gershwin, from Chagall to Mucha, from Oscar Wilde to Pushkin, from Duke Ellington to Irving Berlin. A fascinating subject that is enveloped in a secretive mist. It evokes many questions. What are the principles or values of the Freemasons? Why were so many philosophers, writers, painters, architects, composers, musicians, especially black musicians in the jazz age, attracted to the ideas and ideals of Freemasonry? Did they all have different reasons for becoming a freemason? Can we recognize freemason ideals and symbols in their work? Freemasons were also patrons of art. What inspired them to be patrons of art? What was the golden age of Freemasons and what is the present situation? Let´s try and find out!
About Helen Sijsling
Helen Sijsling MA (born in Australia, lived in the Netherlands, lives in Spain), MA History of Art (University of Leyden), MA English Literature (Universities of Leyden and Oxford) and MA Educational Management (University of Amsterdam). Helen taught English for the first part of her career to later become management consultant on education, advising secondary schools on educational improvement and training teachers and managers in The Netherlands and the Antilles. Helen is presently Chairman of The Arts Society Nerja and has lectured for many years to The Arts Societies in Europe.
 
Sponsor: Off topic publishing

How to watch

• in person in the Cultural Centre, Nerja
• on the internet using Zoom
• on our YouTube channel for a limited period starting the day after the lecture.
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April 15th 2025 (18:00 CEST )
Women Artists in Art History
Alejandra Carazo
Mary Cassat
Clara Peeters 1615
An interesting journey through the history of art over the centuries, explaining different examples of women artists of extraordinary quality and importance but of little public relevance today, despite the fact that some of them even achieved great recognition in their historical context. Some of the oldest examples have been exhibited in recent years at the Prado Museum. One of them was the exhibition on Sofonisba Anguissola, which showed the public the life and work of this painter who came to live at the Court of Philip II in the 16th century. Anguissola, along with other artists of her time such as Lavinia Fontana, belongs to that group of notable women in Art during the second half of the 16th century who achieved notoriety among their contemporaries, but whose figures faded over time until they almost disappeared today.
Artemisia Gentileschi
Another example also on display at the Museo del Prado was that of the Flemish painter Clara Peeters, one of the initiators of the still life in the southern Low Countries (now Belgium), who popularised the use of the self-portrait concealed in still-life objects. Many later artists would emulate this approach, although some of his works were erroneously attributed to Frans Haalsa. Her show at El Prado in 2016 made her the first woman painter to feature in a solo exhibition at the Madrid museum. Within the 17th century, the Italian Artemisia Gentileschi, the first woman in the Academy of Drawing Arts, a follower of Caravaggio and well known for her religious-themed work. The journey will continue through the Impressionist period, with figures such as the painters Mary Cassat and Berthe Morisot, contemporaries of Renoir and Monet. Moving into the 20th century and the present day, various contemporary names such as Louise Bourgeoise and her giant ants or Eva Hesse, a Jewish artist who fled to New York before the war and then returned to Germany to experiment with liquid latex. Yayoi Kusama, whose collaboration with Luis Vuitton made her a true celebrity in fashion as well as art among others essential names to understand the evolution of the history of art in different disciplines over the last century such as Georgia O'Keefe, Frida Kahlo, Leonora Carrington, Ruth Asawa, Chiharu Shiotta, Beatriz Milhazes, Maruja Mallo, Dora Maar, Barbara Hepworth, Olga Goncharova, Marina Abramovich, Romaine Brooks, Helen Frankenthaler and Judy Chicago. Women artists who, fortunately, are regaining the prominence accredited by the quality of their works in museums and exhibition halls, occupying the place they deserve and which is necessary to contextualise the History of Art in a much more enriching and truthful way.
About Alejandra Carazo
"From my experience and studies in Modern Art, l learned to understand ART as a reflection of Humanity in each moment of History. Artists and their creations open doors to vital aspects, from anthropology to science, through emotions, gifting us with an understanding of the world from spheres we do not usually encounter in our daily lives. Trained by Amelia Arenas, former Head of Education of the MOMA, and thanks to the focus of Bernard and Christine Picasso in the values of Art and Education, I lived a lifetime experience at the Picasso Museum which allowed me to deliver the art world to more than 80k visitors in my 8 years at the institution, becoming an expert in teaching general audiences how to appreciate the artwork from their own personal view and background, meeting oneself in the act of viewing. I nowadays continue to share my art knowledge in private collections and as freelance curator and lecturer. At the same time life has led me to encounter with the no less exciting world of design, curating contemporary design homes where creativity and art play an important role." Alejandra last talked to in November 2023 when her subject was Andy Warhol.
 
Sponsor: Casa Select

How to watch

• in person in the Cultural Centre, Nerja
• on the internet using Zoom
• on our YouTube channel for a limited period starting the day after the lecture.
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May 13th 2025 (18:00 CEST )
‘All the Lonely People’: The work of American Realist Edward Hopper
Stella Lyons MA BA
Hopper was a painter of loneliness and melancholy; from solitary figures in offices, motel rooms and diners, to deserted towns. He portrayed a changing America and the isolation of the individual in the modern city. His works are visually stunning; characterised by striking colours, cinematic and cropped compositions which heighten tension. Flooded with light,
Automat, 1927
Nighthawks, 1942
Gas, 1940
his paintings expose detached figures and create a mood of eerie uneasiness. This talk considers some of his most arresting works, including ‘Nighthawks’, ‘Gas’ and ‘Automat’.
About Stella Lyons
Stella Grace Lyons is a freelance Art History lecturer, speaker and writer accredited with The Arts Society. She has lectured across the UK, Ireland, Spain, Norway, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Malaysia and will soon embark on a lecturing tour in Australasia. Stella gained her BA in the History of Art with a 1st class in her dissertation from the University of Bristol (2007-2011), and her MA in History of Art from the University of Warwick. She spent a year studying Renaissance art in Italy at the British Institute of Florence, and three months studying Venetian art in Venice. In addition, she attended drawing classes at the prestigious Charles H. Cecil studios in Florence, a private atelier that follows a curriculum based on the leading ateliers of nineteenth century Paris. Stella runs her own Art History lectures both in person and online. She is a regular lecturer in the UK and Europe for The Arts Society, Tour companies, and the National Trust, amongst others. Stella is also a part-time lecturer for the University of South Wales. She has written about art for several publications and her article on Norwegian art was recently featured on the front cover of The Arts Society magazine. In addition to her lecturing work, Stella works as an artist's model for the internationally renowned figurative artist, Harry Holland. Stella talked to us about Sorolla in October 2021.
 
Sponsor: Dentadanés

How to watch

• in person in the Cultural Centre
• on the internet using Zoom
• on our YouTube channel for a limited period starting the day after the lecture.