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Please check back in early Novemeber for STUDY DAYS in 2019 and STUDY SERIES in 2020

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Spring and Summer 2019

Held at the Civic Centre, Berkhamsted.

Morning sessions begin at 10.30 and end at 1.00
with a break for coffee.
Afternoon sessions are from 2.00 to 3.15.

THE EDWARDIANS

- STUDY SERIES -

Jan 25 - June 28 2019

Edward VII reigned for only 9 years between 1901 and 1910 but he had been the face of royalty since the 1870s when his mother retreated from public life. His country was at the height of her power and wealth, she held a great colonial empire and led the world in technology, trade and finance while her architects and designers began to exert an influence across Europe and America. For the elite it was a period of the most opulent luxury, for the professional classes one of comfortable prosperity and for the working class and for women a time of change.

Jan 25 - Land of Hope and Glory

Between 1815 and 1914 the British Empire held sway over 23% of the world population and 24% of the Earth’s total area. Britain was the hub of an immensely profitable trade network, her industries were booming and ‘exotic’ consumer goods of all kinds were pouring into her shops and new department stores. At the same time the Empire was stamping its own very British identity on the architecture and art of all her subject countries.

Feb 22 - The Life and Times of Albert Edward.

To the surprise of many people Edward VII was a successful king. As ‘Bertie’ the Prince of Wales he had been the popular, public face of the monarchy and a great ambassador for his country but his choice of friends, his pursuit of self-indulgent pleasure, notorious womanising and luxurious lifestyle earned him an international reputation as a playboy prince. The Life and Times of Albert Edward looks at life in the 19th century fast-lane.

Mar 22 - The New Babylon

Edwardian London was the largest city in the world, her major thoroughfares were being relined with grand buildings designed to reflect her Imperial status. Visitors flocked from everywhere to visit her international exhibitions, luxurious department stores and hotels, great theatres and restaurants. At the same time the capital was home to circles of artists and writers whose lifestyles and works created juicy scandals.

Apr 26 - The Way We Were

Britain’s prosperity produced a professional class with its’ own tastes and expectations and the confidence and money to indulge them. By the late 19th century this class was driving exciting changes in the arts, domestic architecture, literature of all kinds and by 1906 in politics.

May 31 - Show-offs and Sweatshops

By the early 20th century Russia had suffered a series of military defeats and was being torn by waves of dissent and revolution from within. It was exactly at this time that painting, ballet, opera, architecture and literature flowered in an extraordinary way as the traditional visual languages of the country were reinterpreted and ideas from western modernism were transformed by Russian artists of all kinds. At least some of this energy would survive the 1917 Revolution albeit for a short time.

June 28 The Golden Age?

In the years after the First World War the Edwardian era was seen as a ‘golden age’ when the sun never set on the Empire and everyone knew their place. Today we will look at an astonishing amount of artistic evidence from works promoting female suffrage to protest posters against the Boer War proving that this was very far from the truth.


Lectures from 10.30 to 15.00 at The Civic Centre, 161 High Street, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire.

Fees £20 for single days or £110 for the complete course.

For more information and to book please contact

Gwenda Constant,
14 Gleneagle Manor,
Townsend Lane,
Harpenden AL5 2FE

For telephone enquiries call
Gwenda Constant 0158 2762001

email: gwenda_constant@greenmantle.f9.co.uk

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THE ARTS SOCIETY - GREATER LONDON AREA

Study Days at the Royal Society of Antiquaries
Autumn 2018 and Spring and Summer 2019

Burlington House, Piccadilly, London. W1J 0BT

Morning sessions begin at 10.45 and end at 1.00
with a break between 11.45 and 12.00.
Afternoon sessions are from 2.00 to 3.15.

THE GREAT ENIGMA

The Story of Russia and her Arts

- STUDY SERIES -

January 11 to June 14 2019

Despite the fact that the Russian Tsar ruled more than a quarter of Europe his vast land rarely featured in the histories of the Great States. It was a place apart. Long after the western kingdoms had reformed their governments the Tsars maintained an absolute monarchy, serfdom remained a reality of life and the Church retained a hold it was losing elsewhere. From the 17th century the aristocracy and the new rich looked to France, Italy and Britain for their painters and architects but despite this truly Russian cultures remained rooted in the extraordinary histories of the people and these re-emerged to take the art world by storm in the 19th century.

11 January 2019

Before there was Russia


Long before the founding of the Keivan state in the 9th century, the shores of the Black Sea and the steppe lands of the north east were ruled by a succession of different cultures each with their own arts. Some were well known to the Greek trading colonies north of the Black Sea and it was the Greek historians who provided the first written accounts of the people living in these vast lands.


08 February

Kiev, Byzantium and the Orthodox Church.


According to the Primary Chronicle the Kievan state was founded by the Rus; invading Norsemen from Scadinavia, this is a matter of dispute but it was during the 300 years of Kievan supremacy that an important bond was made with Byzantium which enriched Russian culture and art and eventually made the Eastern Orthodoxy the faith of the Russian people.



08 March

The Golden Horde, Moscow and the first Tsars

The Mongol invasions of the 13th century destroyed the Kievan state and for 150 years Russia was under the control of the Golden Horde. They were defeated by Muscovite princes who were so ruthless in expanding their state that Ivan IV ‘The Terrible’ became the first to be crowned Tsar of All Russia.These were destructive times and it was an impoverished and isolated land that was inherited by Michael Romanov in the early 17th century.

12 April

Russia looks West

Peter the Great ruled Russia for 42 years and despite foreign wars and social and religious rebellions from within the state he managed to modernise his country, establish an efficient army, navy and civil service, found new colleges and a mercantile middle-class. He was an enthusiastic patron of architecture and chose to create a new ‘western’ capital for himself. His reforms bringing Russia into a closer relationship with western politics, art and culture were carried further by Catherine the Great

10 May

Waking The Sleeping Giant

By the early 19th century Russia had become a major player and after the defeat of Napoleon she played an important part in the Congress of Vienna. She was a deeply divided country and the necessity for reform was opposed in many quarters but a new perception of Russia was being revealed as artists, writers and musicians began to reject western dominance and look to ‘native’ roots for their inspiration

14 June

A Fresh Energy

By the early 20th century Russia had suffered a series of military defeats and was being torn by waves of dissent and revolution from within. It was exactly at this time that painting, ballet, opera, architecture and literature flowered in an extraordinary way as the traditional visual languages of the country were reinterpreted and ideas from western modernism were transformed by Russian artists of all kinds. At least some of this energy would survive the 1917 Revolution albeit for a short time.

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Individual ARTS SOCIETY - GREATER LONDON AREA Study Days at the Royal Society of Antiquaries


THE VIA EMILIA

09 November 2018

Ferrara Borso D'Este statue

In 187 BC Rome completed a new road, the Via Emilia running for 200 miles between Rimini and Piacenza, the lands around it soon became the most economically important part of Italy, a status they never lost. In the Middle Ages the monasteries of Emilia-Romagna were centres of learning while intellectual life and the arts flourished in the growing cities and in 1088 the first European university was founded at Bologna.

From the early Renaissance the courts of the Este at Ferrara, the Farnese at Parma and the Gonzaga at Mantua were cultural power-houses and their patronage produced architecture, painting, sculpture, theatres and great libraries across their territories. This study day takes you from the first Roman colonies along the Via Emilia, their development into vibrant medieval cities, to the courts of the Renaissance lords and finally to the economic triumph of modern Emilia-Romagna.



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THE GENIUS OF DONATELLO

07 December 2018

Prato Donatello pulpit

Donato di Niccolo di Betto Bardi was the greatest and most versatile sculptor of the early Renaissance in Italy with no rival in his technical and expressive range. Almost every later sculptor, including Michelangelo was indebted to him as was 15th century Florentine painting while through Mantegna and Bellini his influence reached as far as Venice.

He was no mere imitator of the Classical, his source material was the whole history of western art and he was no puppet of his patrons, his work was sometimes out of step with contemporary taste. Many Renaissance artists have become ‘personalities’, their lives, characters and opinions documented and then romanticised, Donatello remains a comparative enigma but his work speaks clearly across the centuries.

This day is dedicated that extraordinary work

 

 

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