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DateLecture
14 May 2020The Mystery of Holbein's Ambassadors
09 April 2020The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao & The Architecture of Frank Gehry
12 March 2020 John Singer Sargent - A Life Through Pictures
09 January 2020 L. S. Lowry - should we celebrate his contribution to British Art
14 November 2019The Arts & Culture of Fin de siècle Vienna
10 October 2019Thomas Gainsborough This is an open meeting to which we welcome anyone interested in joining us.
12 September 2019Posters of the Belle Époque
11 July 2019AGM followed by: Thomas Heatherwick "The Leonardo Da Vinci of Our Times"
13 June 2019Behind the London Livery Companies - objects and stories
09 May 2019Dandy and Artist: The Life and Works of James McNeill Whistler
11 April 2019Burlington House and The History of The Royal Academy of Arts
14 March 2019As Good As Gold - Its Significance As Symbolism In the History of Art.
10 January 2019Turner Versus Constable; The Great British Paint-Off
08 November 2018Plantation Houses of the American South
11 October 2018The Inside Stories: The Real Stories Behind the Most Intriguing Cases of Nazi Looted Art
13 September 2018The Life and Works of Thomas Chippendale
12 July 2018AGM followed by Postcards from Other Places – Messages from Far and Near
14 June 2018Have you Good Taste
10 May 2018Dazzle – the Art of Camouflage – The Life and Work of Norman Wilkinson
12 April 2018Art UK : Uncovering the Nation’s Hidden Oil Painting Collection
08 March 2018Rene Magritte – A Truly Surreal Artist
11 January 2018The Shakers of North America – Their Architecture, Artefacts and Beliefs
09 November 2017Napoleon and Josephine’s Collection at Malmaison
12 October 2017Backstage at the Opera – Triumphs! Disasters ! Temperaments !
14 September 2017British Trees in Art and Literature – The Fascination of Trees

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The Mystery of Holbein's Ambassadors Anthony Russell Thursday 14 May 2020

Due to the cronavirus crisis this lecture is cancelled and will be included in our 2021/22 programme.

Hans Holbein was the first great mainland painter to spend much time in England and he brought with him a sophistication and skill, with far reaching consequences for this island's artistic development.

His Ambassadors is recognized by the National Gallery of London as one of its greatest treasures. It dates from a tradition in the arts when no object was without meaning and symbolism. However, practically all of this meaning has been lost to the modern observer. This lecture considers the tempestuous circumstances of its creation and the hidden messages concealed within it. The painting tells us much about the state of Europe at the time and the hopes and fears of its major players. 

Anthony Russell

He has travelled much of the world, combining painting with tour lecturing - principally to American university students on bespoke tours. Spent six years as a consultant for Luke Hughes and travelled the country advising on the furniture needs of prestigious buildings, including museums, palaces, schools and cathedrals. Now based in London, spends much of his time lecturing and undertaking research, while assisting at the British Museum with outreach events and visiting lecturers. As an advocate of non-violence, he is the author of the book Evolving the Spirit - From Democracy to Peace, commended by Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Laureate recently released from 15 years of house arrest, as meaning a great deal to her.