THE ARTS SOCIETY RICKMANSWORTH
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15 November 2019The Sublime to the Ridiculous: Hogarth, Reynolds and Gillray

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The Sublime to the Ridiculous: Hogarth, Reynolds and Gillray Linda Smith Friday 15 November 2019

The Sublime to the Ridiculous: Hogarth, Reynolds and Gillray

Date Friday 15th November 2019

Start time 10.00 for 10.15

Location Moor Park Mansion

Includes refreshments after the first lecture and a buffet lunch

 

Linda Smith holds two  first-class degrees In Art History. She is an experienced guide and lecturer at Tate Britain, Tate Modern, and the Dulwich Picture Gallery. She also lectures to secondary school audiences and independent arts societies.

She was the lecturer at our November 2017 study day, topic: Looking at me Looking at you - Women in Art.

 

Session One:

William Hogarth (1697-1764): Hogarth is nowadays mostly remembered as a talented satirist, but there is much more to him than that. He was extremely ambitious in other artistic fields, including portraiture, history painting, and art theory. He was also a tireless self-promoter and entrepreneur, with a real and practical concern for the status of his profession. This talk tracks his career from humble copper-plate engraver to successful painter, showing a wide variety of images which demonstrate his exceptional originality and inventiveness. Above all, however, it is his unparalleled eye for absurdity and human weakness which not only tells us so much about his own times, but gives us food for thought about our own.

 

Session Two: Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-92) and the Royal Academy: Joshua Reynolds became the Royal Academy’s first President, and was the obvious choice for the job. He had travelled widely in Europe in his youth, worked hard to become the pre-eminent portrait painter of the day, and was comfortable in the drawing-rooms and salons of wealthy and influential people. He was also an extremely efficient businessman and administrator. By looking at his career, and how he adapted European artistic fashions to suit British tastes, this talk reveals a good deal about the world he operated in.

Session Three: James Gillray (1757-1815) In the hands of James Gillray, the art of caricature became a highly sophisticated and inventive aspect of the visual culture of his period. The breathtaking audacity and sheer rudeness of his work still has the power to make people laugh out loud. But through his work, we can also get a glimpse of the riotous side of the high society which Reynolds presented so elegantly; and a sense of the cut-throat nature of the political scene at the time. Gillray lived at a time of immense social and political upheaval, dominated by a handful of larger-than-life public personalities, and it is very revealing to see how they were viewed by this master of disrespect. 

Look at Our Society/Documents for the booking form - We are finalising the cost, details to follow later.