I am currently giving two series of lectures on art history at the Tree House. On Monday mornings at 11am, the subject is Early Netherlandish Painting – the extraordinary works of the painters in the Netherlands in the fifteenth century, as they exploit the use of oil paint as a medium to transform the understanding of what could be achieved in painting and produced some of the most exquisite works of art of all time. This morning we are looking at Rogier van der Weyden, the greatest of them all, next week the focus will be on Hans Memling.
On Thursday evenings at 8pm I am repeating a series of five lectures on German art in the Renaissance, which I gave on Tuesday mornings in the autumn, and which were very well received. Last week we looked at sculpture, this Thursday we will focus on prints. The fifteenth century saw the invention of Gutenberg’s printing press, which led to the development of woodcut as a medium for making images, and out of the workshops of the goldsmiths developed the technique of copper plate engraving, taken to sublime heights first by Martin Schongauer and then by Albrecht Dürer.
My own background is as an art historian. My PhD was on German sculpture circa 1500, of which there is a very fine example at our local museum, Compton Verney – a female saint by Tilman Riemenschneider. I have lectured at Bristol University, the Open University, as well as for various other institutions on a shorter or longer term basis, and continue to lecture for the Continuing Education department at Oxford University. I am carrying on with this alongside running the bookshop, and as we have a screen and projector and a nice space, it seemed logical to start giving lectures at the bookshop.
Lectures are £6, including coffee and biscuits, £5 for Friends of the Tree House. Each lecture stands on its own, though the series do work as a short course or overview of the subject when taken as a whole. Hope to see some of you there!