Monday 27th May 2024 (CEST)
PROVISIONAL - subject to change

Lecture Programme: 2025-26 season

Nov 11
Pepe Martinez
Feb 10
Shauna Isaac
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 14th 2025 (18:00 CEST )
The Bad Boy of Baroque : Caravaggio
Matthew Wilson
Beheading of John the Baptist
Caravaggio remains one of the most compelling painters in art history. His works have an intensity that few other artists from his time could manage – they are dark, violent, and detailed to the point almost of photorealism. What was it about his background that led him to such originality? Working mainly for ecclesiastical patrons, Caravaggio’s art was shaped by religious ideas of the time such as the beliefs of the various Catholic orders like the Jesuits and Oratorians. But it was also influenced by the wider historical context. The Catholic faith had been under threat spiritually and militarily from the Protestants for almost a century, and the tensions would imminently spill over into one of Europe’s most bloody wars. In the middle of this Caravaggio would paint a vision of religion that shared the darkness and violence of his times.
About Matthew Wilson
Secret symbols, Nazi-fighting, cultural love affairs, the ‘nude’, snowmen, and artistic espionage are among the diverse interests of art historian Matthew Wilson. Matthew studied History of Art at the Courtauld Institute and is an author, lecturer, and educator. As a freelance journalist he writes for numerous publications including BBC Culture, The Spectator, The Economist and Aesthetica Magazine. He has written two books on symbolism – ‘Symbols in Art’ (Thames & Hudson, 2020) and ‘The Hidden Language of Symbols’ (Thames & Hudson 2022) and his latest book is 'Art Unpacked' - a fully illustrated introduction to understanding art (Thames & Hudson 2023).
 

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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November 11th 2025 (18:00 CET )
Banksy - Fraud or Genius
Pepe Martinez
The lecture will trace the story of Banksy’s humble beginnings as a tagger on the streets of Bristol in the 1980’s to one of the most recognisable names in the art world. We will examine the reasons behind his incredible rise, looking at some of his famous stunts and discuss what his influence has been on the art market today and look at what his legacy, if any, might be.
About Pepe Martinez
I qualified as a London blue badge tourist guide in 2011, graduating at the top of my class. Since qualifying as a guide I have specialised in the graffiti and street art of East London. Prior to becoming a London blue badge, I was a tour manager for 15 years, travelling extensively, all over the world. I can organise and arrange lecture facilities in central London. I can also combine a lecture with a walk of street art and graffiti in the East End and I can also organise a practical spray session, giving your group an opportunity to have a go at creating their own works.
 

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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December 9th 2025 (18:00 CET )
Tintoretto ‘il furioso’: Painter for the People
Julia Musgrave
In sixteenth-century Venice, Tintoretto, helped by his studio assistants, produced work so quickly that he was nicknamed ‘Il Furioso’ (“The Furious”) by his contemporaries. He had received almost no formal training. Without the benefit of an apprenticeship in the studio of a major artist he had to find work the hard way: by under-cutting prices and delivering faster than his competitors (who included Titian and Veronese). The scourge of the Venetian art market, Tintoretto would obtain commissions by either working for no fee or charging only for the cost of materials. His work, characterised by muscular figures, dramatic gestures and movement takes the art of the Mannerist period into the excitement of the Baroque. By the end of his life, he was working for the wealthiest in Venice and for international patrons. Yet he never forgot his roots and the poorer churches and scuole which had supported him in his early days. What might have driven his ambition, and why might he have given so much of his work away?
About Julia Musgrave
Julia Musgrave got her first degree in Chemical Engineering and went on to become a Chartered Information Systems Engineer and IT project manager. In 2008 she decided that life was too short for just one career and decided to become an art historian. She now has a Graduate Diploma in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art and an MLitt in ‘Art, Style and Design: Renaissance to Modernism, c.1450 – c.1930’ from the University of Glasgow. She gained her PhD at the University of York for her research into the involvement of Roger Fry and the Bloomsbury Group and the social networks of the British art world in the development of the Contemporary Art Society from 1910 to 1939. She teaches Art History at the City Literary Institute (City Lit) and is Co-Director of The London Art Salon.
 

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 13th 2026 (18:00 CET )
The Dinausaur Sculptures of Crystal Palace.
Aaron Hunter
Explore the World's first dinosaur models hidden in a south London park. Created in 1850s, we will look into the history and science behind these Grade I listed architectural structures. These models represented the cutting edge of our knowledge of ancient dinosaurs and marine reptiles in the 19th century. Palaeontologists had only just coined the name Dinosaur, and with limited fossil bones, they began the journey to discover how these extinct animals from the deep past looked. We will explore how the professors and fossil hunters such as Mary Anning and Gideon Mantell found these fossils and created the reconstructions, even dining inside one of the massive models for a New Year's Eve party in 1853. We will see how today's scientists think these animals actually would have looked, however nearly 170 years later, with all our technological advances, we still can't be sure! Come and join me on this adventure.
About Aaron Hunter
I am a professional scientist and researcher with the University of Cambridge and a prize-winning London Blue Badge Guide, a Green Badge Guide for the City of London and Oxford, and a City of Bath Mayor's Guide. As a palaeontologist, I am an expert on fossils and prehistoric life from the first animals to appear on our planet to the evolution of early humans. I have published research on the origin of marine animals 480 million years to the Jurassic World. After degrees in Geology & Palaeobiology, I gained my PhD from the University of London and went on to pursue an academic career working first as a research fellow in France, Germany and Japan and then as a Senior Lecturer in Malaysia and Western Australia. I have a passion for archaeology, history, architecture and the history of art. I give lectures that encompass these subjects looking at the interface between the arts and sciences.
 

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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February 10th 2026 (18:00 CET )
How to Steal a Million.
Shauna Isaac
We have all heard about audacious art heists that are more like blockbuster movies than run-of-the-mill burglaries. In this lecture, we are going to look at famous art thefts, discuss what motivates art thieves as well as examine what aspects the thefts have in common. We will also look at where the burglars made mistakes, which enabled investigators to swoop in and recover stolen masterpieces. In many cases, the police sting operations were just as daring as the thefts
About Shauna Isaac
Isaac Shauna Isaac has been active in World War II art restitution for several years and has worked with families and government organisations to recover Nazi looted art. She set up the Central Registry on Looted Cultural Property and served as a member of the Working Group for the Holocaust Era Assets Conference in Prague. Shauna studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art in the UK and Smith College in the USA. She is a regular lecturer at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Her publications include articles for The Art Newspaper, The Times Literary Supplement and Art Quarterly. She is a contributor to the book Insiders/Outsiders: Refugees from Nazi Europe and their contribution to British Visual Culture. Shauna is no stranger to Nerja. In January 2020 she told us about stolen masterpieces and in March 2223 we heard about the art stolen by the Nazis in World War II.
 

How to watch

• in person in the Cultural Centre
• on the internet using Zoom
This lecture will not be recorded.
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March 10th 2026 (18:00 CET )
August Rodin and 19th Century Sculpture
David Worthington
Rodin is one of the heroic figures of 19th century art history and was internationally celebrated during his lifetime. But after his death his reputation slipped and there were questions about his use of the female image. Now that is very much being reassessed and he is seen as having in one career taken sculpture on a revolutionary path equivalent to what the Realists, Impressionists and Post Impressionists did with many careers. This lecture surveys his work showing why he is one of the greatest sculptors ever, looking at his work in relationship to 19th century sculpture as well assessing his continuing relevance.
About David Worthington
David Worthington has been drawn to abstract sculpture since seeing a Barbara Hepworth in a school history book aged 10. He graduated from Oxford University in 1984 with a degree in Philosophy and Theology, then studied fine art in London, Barcelona and New York. A maker he also curates and writes about art. He was shortlisted for the Jerwood Sculpture Prize in 2009. David is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Sculptors, and was Vice President in 2010-13. He has carried out public commissions in the UK, America and Japan. His work is in the museum the Creative Cities Collection Beijing China. He has had solo shows at the Lefevre Gallery, Sladers Yard, Horatio’s Garden, the William Bennington Gallery, the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and in October 2017 at the Lightbox Gallery Museum, Woking. He took part in exhibitions at Colyer Bristow Gallery and Contemporary Sculpture at Fulmer 2018.
 

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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May 12th 2026 (18:00 CEST )
Art: A Detective Story- Decoding Symbols in Paintings
Lydia Bauman
Paintings are silent but they want to tell us things - sometimes they tell simple stories, but sometimes they send subtle messages: messages intended to elevate, educate, warn or criticise. A medieval altarpiece, a Renaissance portrait, a Dutch still life, a Baroque ceiling painting or a Victorian genre scene, all resort to symbolism to tell their stories. This talk looks at the rich tradition of symbols, emblems and allegories used by artists through the ages to tell us more than just meets the eye.
About Lydia Bauman
Born in Poland and studied for her BA in Fine Art at University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (John Christie Scholarship and the Hatton Award), and an MA in History of Art from Courtauld Institute of Art, London, (19th-20th century art - Distinction for thesis on Matisse's Illustrations to Poetry). She has since divided her time between painting and exhibiting as well as lecturing widely to adult audiences. She has taught at London's National Gallery for more than 35 years, and intermittently at Tate Gallery and National Portrait Gallery as well as collections such as Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Hermitage and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the latter as a guest speaker for travel companies. Since the pandemic began in March 2020 Lydia had devised and delivered a programme of upwards of 180 online lectures to her own group Art For The Uninitiated.
 

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.