Heritage of Storms -Lord Byron -his Romantic Inheritance and his Artistic Legacy

by Richard Westall, oil on canvas, 1813
Byron by Richard Westall1813

Our January lecture was given by Elizabeth Merry, who  delivered a fascinating and informative lecture on Lord Byron.

Her lecture began with a description of Byron as ‘a child of his times ‘ who lived his life against a backdrop of the developing romantic era. Described by one of his lady friends as ‘mad,bad and dangerous to know.’

He lived through a time of great political unrest. The revolution in France caused great concern in England, concern that a similar revolt would occur in Britain, as depicted in this cartoon by James Gilray in 1792

‘Un Petit Souper a la Parisien ‘an00046507_001_l Continue reading “Heritage of Storms -Lord Byron -his Romantic Inheritance and his Artistic Legacy”

Punch and Judy



Etching of Puccinella by

Bartolomeo Pinelli 1815



A fascinating and most entertaining talk was given by Bertie Pearce on December 12th. 2016.

He opened the lecture by surprising us all with the information that in 2006 there was an Icon Debate to find the 12 cultural icons who represented ‘Englishness,’ and Punch was 6th.

History tells us that in May 1662 on the piazza in Covent garden , Pepys passed an Italian puppeteer with a puppet he called -Puccinella,

“Thence to see an Italian puppet play that is within the rayles there, which is very pretty, the best that ever I saw, and great resort of gallants.” Continue reading “Punch and Judy”

Marvellous Mosaics

Lecture on February 7th.  given by Christopher Bradley

Christopher began his fascinating talk by explaining the presence  of mosaics in  Roman homes – how  they were a common form of decoration in Roman houses from Morocco to Turkey. He explained how they captured the life of the people and are such a valuable insight into Roman life.

Christopher then gave us a brief history of mosaics explaining that though they are difficult to date.there are clues  within the mosaics themselves. Continue reading “Marvellous Mosaics”

The Founders and Treasures of the Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection

A talk by Stephen Duffy on January 11th.

Stephen began his very interesting talk by giving us the background to the Wallace Collection. It is a National Museum based in Hertford House in Manchester Square. It contains one of the best collections of arms and armour and unsurpassed displays of 18th. century French painting, furniture and porcelain, along with excellent Old Master paintings. The whole collection was bequeathed to Britain by the widow of Sir Richard Wallace in 1897.

The collection was begun by the 1st. Marquess of Hertford about 1760 when he acquired six  paintings by Canaletto. Continue reading “The Founders and Treasures of the Wallace Collection”

Understanding Modern Art

Frank Woodgate led a fascinating Study day entitled ‘Understanding Modern Art ‘. His relaxed and knowledgeable style made it easy to follow and  stay focussed. In his introduction he made it clear that his aim for the day was that we would better understand art but not necessarily like it any more. However I think that many of us having understood it more, were  able to appreciate what the artists were endeavouring to achieve and gain greater pleasure from these works of art.

Continue reading “Understanding Modern Art”