Lecture Programme 2019-2020

LECTURES 2019-2020

 Diocletian’s Palace at Split:        Isabella Image        10 September 2019

The Emperor Diocletian’s most enduring legacy was probably his wide-ranging building schemes. This lecture looks at his monumental palace at Split and considers its impact on the young architect, Robert Adam.




Tuesday 8 October 2019

 Our annual general meeting will take place at 10.30am, preceding October’s lecture.


People, Places and Piazzas. The Life and Art of Charles H. Mackie:                         Pat Clark                            8th October 2019   

A comprehensive survey of his life and the development of his art, from his early struggles as an artist up to his final recognition as RSA, RSW. The people he met – Gauguin, Vuillard, Hornel – and the places he painted – Kirkcudbright, Normandy, Venice – form the core of this talk.

Mars and the Muses: the Renaissance Art of Armour: Tobias Capwell                                                            12 November 2019                                          

Armour was one of the great Renaissance art-forms. This lecture is an introduction to the idea of armour as an expressive art-form, where the achievements of virtuoso armourers embodied splendour and richness while also carrying more complex messages about status, aristocratic associations, the social order and divine power.

 Celebrate, rejoice, rise up! Johann Sebastian Bach’s glorious Christmas Oratorio:                                                           Sandy Burnett                                                 10 December 2019  

This illustrated talk explores how Bach brings the Christmas story alive in his Christmas Oratorio, written for Lutheran congregations in 1730s Leipzig.



Classical Gardens: A New Perspective:           Anthony  Rayworth                                                                     14 January 2020 


This talk illustrates and discusses the integration of contemporary garden considerations within traditional garden contexts and how both approaches are raised by association.


The Prince Regent and his Collecting Mania:            Nicholas Merchant                                                               11 February 2020

The Prince Regent, later George IV did much to re-establish the Royal Collection as one of the greatest in the world, and thus restore its pre-eminence, disastrously destroyed at the time of Oliver Cromwell. This talk explores not just the forming of the collection but also something of the character of the prince: “The First Gentleman of Europe.”


Lawrence of Arabia: Excavating a Legend:                     Dr Neil Faulkner                                                                10 March 2020   

This  lecture will contrast the legend of Lawrence of Arabia with the true story of what happened in the famous desert war 1916 to 1918. Is the legend a myth? Was Lawrence a liar and a charlatan? Or was he, in fact, a brilliant military commander and a sincere advocate of the Arab national cause?

 The Bayeux Tapestry:                Imogen Corrigan      * 21 April 2020         

The lecture looks in detail at many of the scenes in the tapestry and explores what might be learned from this depiction of a turning point in our history. It is a moral story showing that good cannot come to those who break their word and a story of kings, chivalry and ambition.


*Please note date change due to Easter

Stripped Naked: The Nude in Art History:               Stella Grace Lyons                                            12 May 2020  

The human body has long been a subject for artists and art historians. Looking at nude imagery from Classical Greece up until the present day, this lecture explores the roles of female and male nudes in art and how the nude reflects the social attitudes of the time.


The Most Exalted and Prodigal Magnificence: Filippo Brunelleschi and the Dome of Santa Maria Del Fiore:                              Ross King                                                 9 June 2020                                                          

Between 1420 and 1436, Filippo Brunelleschi, a goldsmith and clockmaker, oversaw one of history’s greatest architectural and engineering feats: crowning Florence’s cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore with the highest and widest vault ever attempted. This illustrated lecture will examine the procedures developed by Brunelleschi as he successfully raised what is still the world’s largest masonry dome.