Monthly Archives: July 2017

4th July 2018 – The Punch and Judy Show (A Subversive Symbol from Commedia Dell

The Punch and Judy Show (A Subversive Symbol from Commedia Dell’Arte to the Present Day)

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Wednesday 4th July 2018

Bertie Pearce

Mr Punch – the most famous puppet figure of all time. His comic irreverence gave “Punch” magazine its title, and his anarchic vitality has inspired opera, ballet and punk rock. His enduring popularity has seen his likeness on goods ranging from Victorian silverware to video games.

Appearing in England in 1662, Punch is descended from the clown Pulcinella of the 15th Century Commedia Dell’Arte tradition. Even today this Lord of Misrule uses his slapstick to dispense with oppressive authority, be it politicians, Political Correctness or the devil, while proclaiming his notorious refrain “That’s the way to do it!”

N.B. This lecture will follow our AGM which will start at 10.30am.

6th June 2018 – Basingstoke and its Contribution to World Culture

Basingstoke and its Contribution to World Culture

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Wednesday 6th June 2018

Rupert Willoughby

One of the most derided towns in England, renowned for its dullness, Basingstoke is distinguished only by its numerous roundabouts and absurd Modernist Architecture. We will learn how the post-war planners were politically motivated and bent on destroying all traces of the past.

Rupert will reveal the nobler Basingstoke that is buried beneath the concrete, and the few historic gems that have survived. It is a story that illustrates the ugliest episode in England’s architectural history.

As Betjeman wrote prophetically, “What goes for Basingstoke goes for most English towns.”

2nd May 2018 – Piero della Francesca

Piero della Francesca

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Wednesday 2nd May 2018

Shirley Smith

It is just over 600 years since the birth of this enigmatic painter.

His grave, solid figures set in a timeless landscape and lit by a clear light, encapsulate the harmony of man and his world that was at the heart of Italian Renaissance thought. But they are, in fact, a perfect fusion of the influences of the North and South, of light and logic, which reflect his native countryside while yet conveying a spirituality that reaches out over time and boundaries.

Whether working for the church or his patron, Federigo da Montefeltro, his paintings radiate serenity and timelessness.

4th April 2018 – The Secret Language of Sacred Spaces: religious architecture of the world

The Secret Language of Sacred Spaces: religious architecture of the world

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Wednesday 4th April 2018

Jon Cannon

Religion has been the inspiration for many of the greatest buildings of the world. Indeed for much of human history the stories of architecture and religion were synonymous.

We will move from early societies such as Mesopotamia and Egypt before focussing on the living faiths: the great continuities of Buddhism and Hinduism, and the revolutionary changes brought about in monotheistic Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

7th March 2018 – Painters of Provence

Painters of Provence

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Wednesday March 7th 2018

Ms Juliet Heslewood

This lecture ties in with our society’s trip to Provence in April.

Provence attracted many painters. Cezanne returned to his native land after experiencing Paris where initially Impressionism had caused a sensation. Gaugin was happy to leave it behind to go further across the world. Van Gogh in Arles found it to be like the Japan he hoped to find, while also in Arles lived the lesser known artist Leo Lelee who painted the Provencal people.

7th February 2018 – 250 Years of the Royal Academy

250 Years of the Royal Academy

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Wednesday 7th February 2018

Rosalind Whyte

We will look at the position of artists before and after the formation of the Royal Academy in 1768, and some of the characters involved, from the first President Sir Joshua Reynolds to more oppositional artists such as Gainsborough and the initially clandestine Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood.

As with any important institution the Academy has been embroiled in intrigue and controversy over its history and no scandal or outrage will remain unexposed.

1st November 2017 – Warwick Castle: A Forgotten Collection

Warwick Castle – A Forgotten Collection

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Wednesday 1st November 2017

Adam Busiakiewicz

Warwick Castle remains one of Britain’s best preserved and most popular medieval castles. The walls were raised by the Earls of Warwick who took a leading role in the most important events of Medieval England. In 1604 the castle was transformed into a fortification and a luxurious stately home.

The Earls of the eighteenth and nineteenth century filled the castle with a wealth of paintings, furniture, arms and armour and objets d’art. This lecture will introduce us to some of these undiscovered treasures.

4th October 2017 – “Mars and the Muses”: the Renaissance Art of Armour

“Mars and the Muses” – the Renaissance Art of Armour

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Wednesday 4th October 2017

Dr Tobias Capwell

Armour was one of the great Renaissance art forms, but it is often overlooked. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries almost all the richest and most powerful noblemen could be counted as dedicated patrons of the art.

This was an intensely personal art, both expressive and decorative. It also demanded great skill in the sculpting of iron and steel as well as mastery of complex decorative techniques. The end result embodied more complex messages about status and the social order, divine power, and attitudes and identities.