Past Courses and Lectures

Summer 2018

Two Ballet Dancers in a Dressing Room

This free pop-up talk about Edgar Degas’ pastel on paper, Two Ballet Dancers in a Dressing Room is a rare chance to see an important work from the collection that is not usually on display.

Date: Thursday 16th of August

Location: National Gallery of Ireland

Heritage Week Tour: Sharing Stories

A guided tour of the highlights of the Gallery’s collection followed by tea and coffee and an opportunity for sharing your thoughts on your favourite artworks.

Date: Thursday 23rd of August

Time: 11 am

Duration: 1 hour plus additional time for discussion over tea and coffee.

Location: Hugh Lane Gallery Dublin

http://www.hughlane.ie/lectures/forthcoming-lectures/2116-heritage-week-2018

 

Spring 2018

The Renaissance in Florence (Morning)

This ten week course will explore perhaps the most significant period in the history of Western Art, the Italian Renaissance. The focus will be on Florence, the birthplace of this extraordinary movement in art and the home of some of the most famous names in art history, Donatello, Leonardo, Botticelli, Michelangelo and Raphael. The various theories as to how and why this rebirth of the classical world and consequential revolution of the visual art happened will be investigated by looking at the influence of significant changes in other aspects of society from politics to economics to philosophy. Important writers, thinkers and leaders will be discussed as well as an attempt to uncover the experiences of the regular citizen including women and the poorer classes.

 

The Renaissance in Florence (Afternoon)

This ten week course will explore perhaps the most significant period in the history of Western Art, the Italian Renaissance. The focus will be on Florence, the birthplace of this extraordinary movement in art and the home of some of the most famous names in art history, Donatello, Leonardo, Botticelli, Michelangelo and Raphael. The various theories as to how and why this rebirth of the classical world and consequential revolution of the visual art happened will be investigated by looking at the influence of significant changes in other aspects of society from politics to economics to philosophy. Important writers, thinkers and leaders will be discussed as well as an attempt to uncover the experiences of the regular citizen including women and the poorer classes.

 

Irish Art, 1700-1850 (Southside)

This course will explore the fascinating development of Irish art through the eighteenth century up to the mid-nineteenth century. The changing history of Ireland from political, religious and economic perspectives will be traced through the art produced by Irish artists at home and abroad as well as the art purchased by Irish patrons. The impact of events including the 1798 Irish Rebellion, the Act of Union, the Famine and the founding of the Royal Hibernian Academy will be examined. Key artistic movements will be discussed including Neo-Classicism and Romanism as well as the growing importance of art in the formation of a new Irish identity influenced by the discovery of Irish antiquities and an appreciation for the natural beauty of the Irish landscape. Artists to be discussed include Garret Morphey, James Latham, William Ashford, George Petrie, Francis Danby, James Barry, Thomas Hickey, Maria Spilsbury Taylor and Joseph Patrick Haverty. The wealth of wonderful Irish art back on display in the National Gallery will be an integral part of this course with three visits planned. There will also be a visit to the National Museum of Ireland, Kildare Street, to look at the extraordinary Irish antiquities rediscovered in the nineteenth century.

 

 

Irish Art, 1700-1850 (Northside Location)

This course will explore the fascinating development of Irish art through the eighteenth century up to the mid-nineteenth century. The changing history of Ireland from political, religious and economic perspectives will be traced through the art produced by Irish artists at home and abroad as well as the art purchased by Irish patrons. The impact of events including the 1798 Irish Rebellion, the Act of Union, the Famine and the founding of the Royal Hibernian Academy will be examined. Key artistic movements will be discussed including Neo-Classicism and Romanism as well as the growing importance of art in the formation of a new Irish identity influenced by the discovery of Irish antiquities and an appreciation for the natural beauty of the Irish landscape. Artists to be discussed include Garret Morphey, James Latham, William Ashford, George Petrie, Francis Danby, James Barry, Thomas Hickey, Maria Spilsbury Taylor and Joseph Patrick Haverty. The wealth of wonderful Irish art back on display in the National Gallery will be an integral part of this course with two visits planned. There will also be a visit to the National Museum of Ireland, Kildare.

 

Surrealism

Surrealism is an artistic and literary movement that grew out of the revolutionary Dada activities during World War I. This course will begin with the origins of the Surrealist movement in Paris and trace its global development through a variety of art forms and practices. From the revolutionary ideals of André Breton to the bizarre world of Salvador Dalí, Surrealism encompasses many fascinating ideas and surprising artworks. The various techniques and art theories will be explored through the works of artists such as Joan Miró, Max Ernst and René Magritte who to varying degrees were influenced by Freudian psychoanalysis and accessing the subconscious through artistic practises like automatism. The social and historical context is essential to this artistic style and will be discussed in conjunction with the written manifestos of the group. There will be one class dedicated to film and one visit to the National Gallery of Ireland to examine relevant works in person.

 

Tours and Talks

Free Public Tours

Hugh Lane Gallery: Highlights of the Collection

National Gallery of Ireland: Highlights of the Collection

 

Public Talks

Coffee conversationClose by Elizabeth Magill

Location: Hugh Lane Gallery, in front of the painting.

 

Pop up talk The Immaculate Conception by Francisco de Zurbarán

Location: National Gallery of Ireland, in front of the painting.

 

Coffee conversationPortrait of John Butler Yeats by Walt Kuhn

Location: Hugh Lane Gallery, in front of the painting.

 

Autumn 2017

Irish Art, 1970-2000

This course will explore the development of Irish art through the last thirty years of the 20th century. This fascinating era of the arts in Ireland produced some controversial and innovative works that reflect the impact of Irish social and political events as well as being part of larger international art movements. Artists to be discussed include Robert Ballagh, Louis Le Brocquy, Michael Farrell, Sean Scully and Kathy Prendergast.

 

Art Appreciation and an Introduction to Western Art History

This ten week course will provide an accessible overview of the history of art from the Renaissance to Modern art movements. Each week important examples will be explored through a variety of art appreciation practises. This will start will an examination of the formal elements such as materials and techniques along with in-depth definitions of useful art terms. Genre and subject matter will be explained through the reading of symbols and other factors that help the viewer to interpret meaning. Each artwork will be placed in context by looking at the stories behind the art regarding the artist, the patron, the historical background as well as many other interesting factors and influences.

This course is ideal for those with an interest in art and for those coming to the subject of art history for the first time. Discussion and questions during class are very welcome. There will be a trip to the National Gallery of Ireland at the end of the course to put your skills into practise.

 

UCD Adult Education Courses

The Grand Tour (Full)

The Grand Tour through France and Italy became a popular journey made by the classically educated male members of the northern European ruling class to complete their education. This course will trace the origins of the practice and its development with a particular emphasis on the artistic experience of the traveller. Further areas including historical and social context will be discussed along with the specific goals of the travels. There will be one visit to the National Gallery which has an impressive collection of works connected to the Grand Tour.

 

Impressionism

Impressionism is a fascinating and important art movement which began in 19th century France. The development of this distinctive style of painting is the focus of this course. Each week there will be detailed analysis of individual responses by artists to the theories of the movement. Artists to be discussed include Manet, Monet, Degas, and Renoir. An essential element is to see the paintings in person with visits to the National Gallery and the Hugh Lane Gallery to explore the wonderful collection French Impressionist works there as well as tracing the style in Irish art.

Tour: Italian Renaissance Painting in the National Gallery of Ireland

This tour will explore the wonderful collection of Italian Renaissance art in the National Gallery. Starting with early 15th century works that display an interest in naturalism and perspective. The progression of these artistic developments art will be traced through examples by artist like Perugino and Fra Angelico up the bizarre Mannerist paintings by El Greco among others. This tour will be of particular interest to those who have taken relevant courses with me over the past few years when these works were not on display.

Location: National Gallery of Ireland.

 

Tour: 17th century European Painting in the National Gallery of Ireland

This tour will explore the impressive collection of 17th century art in the National Gallery which is finally be back on display. Starting with the influence of Caravaggio and his followers, the development of art in will be traced through works from Italy, Spain, France and the Netherlands. Paintings by a wide range of some of the most important 17th century artists will be discussed including Rubens, Rembrandt and Velázquez.

Location: National Gallery of Ireland.

 

Tour: ‘Frank O’Meara and Irish Artists Abroad’

Centred on the intriguing work by the tragic figure Frank O’Meara, this exhibition provides great insight into the development of Irish artists abroad at the end of the 19th century. There are wonderful works some of Ireland greatest painters including Osbourne, Lavery, Leech and Swanzy.

Location: Hugh Lane Gallery

 

Tour: ‘Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting’.

This once in a lifetime exhibition includes ten paintings by one of the best loved painters in the history of Western art. This is particularly impressive given that Vermeer is believed to have painted very few works in his life, with only about 34 are securely attributed today. I will give a tour of the exhibition which brings together works from all over the world and aims to demonstrate the relationships of inspiration and rivalry between Dutch genre painters from 1650 to 1675.

Location: National Gallery of Ireland.

 

 Tour: ‘Margaret Clarke: An Independent Spirit’

I will be giving a tour of this wonderful exhibition of works by the long neglected artist Margaret Clarke. It is a rare opportunity to see so many of her paintings and drawings together. The tour will include time for debate around issues raised pertaining to early 20th century art, particularly the place of female artists in Free State Ireland.

Location: Print Gallery, National Gallery of Ireland.

 

Tour: ‘Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting’.

This once in a lifetime exhibition includes ten paintings by one of the best loved painters in the history of Western art. This is particularly impressive given that Vermeer is believed to have painted very few works in his life, with only about 34 are securely attributed today. I will give a tour of the exhibition which brings together works from all over the world and aims to demonstrate the relationships of inspiration and rivalry between Dutch genre painters from 1650 to 1675.

Location: National Gallery of Ireland.

Tour: ‘Anne Madden. Colours of the Wind: Ariadne’s Thread’

I will be giving a tour of the current exhibition of new works by the fascinating painter Anne Madden. The vibrancy and energy of her works have to be experienced in person. Each work can be appreciated purely from an aesthetic viewpoint but as the title of the exhibition suggests there are intriguing influences and themes to be explored too.

Location: Hugh Lane Gallery

Tour: ‘Lucian Freud Exhibition’

The first exhibition from the Freud Project at IMMA features 30 incredible oil paintings as well as works on paper dating from 1970 onwards. I will give a tour of these works and explore themes that arise as well as the artist’s technique which has to be examined in person to be believed.

Location: Irish Museum of Modern Art

 

Tour: ‘ROSC 50: 1967-2017 Exhibition’

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first ROSC exhibition IMMA have staged an amazing exhibition. I will give a tour of these often ground breaking works while providing information regarding the founding and development of ROSC and the historical context.

Location: Irish Museum of Modern Art

Summer 2017

17th Century European Art

Some of the most famous and revered artists through history were working during the 17th century in Europe. This course starts in Rome with an exploration of the paintings of Caravaggio and the Carracci followed by an in-depth look into the works of the master sculptor and architect Bernini in the same city. Other regions to be discussed will be Spain and the influence of the Inquisition on artists like Velasquez, the Dutch Republic and the specific tastes of the growing middle classes which affected the careers of master painters including Rembrandt and Vermeer.

This course will include visits to two exciting exhibitions coming to the National Gallery this year, ‘Beyond Caravaggio’ and ‘Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting’ as well as a tour of 17th century painting in the National Gallery permanent collection which will reopen in June.

 

Spring 2017

Irish Art, 1950-2000 [Full]

Description:     This course will explore the development of Irish art through the second half of the 20th century. This fascinating era of the arts in Ireland produced some controversial and innovative works that reflect the impact of Irish social and political events as well as being part of larger international art movements. Artists to be discussed include Francis Bacon, Norah McGuinness, Robert Ballagh, Louis Le Brocquy, Patrick Scott and Kathy Prendergast.

 

Art and the Medici (UCD Adult Education AE-AN173) [Full]

Description:      This course will explore the relationship between art and the powerful and influential Italian family, the Medici. Each week will provide an in-depth look at some of the central figures, starting in Florence with Cosimo the Elder in the early fifteenth century, and concluding with Marie de’ Medici who married the King of France in the seventeenth-century. Understanding the power of art was vital to their success and understanding the Medici is vital to the History of European Art. They employed the greatest artists of their day including Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael, Bronzino and Rubens.

 

Free Public Lecture:

Night Scenes: Honthorst in Rome

As part of the ongoing events for the current exhibition, ‘Beyond Caravaggio’, in the National Gallery of Ireland I will be presenting a lecture on the Dutch artist Gerrit van Honthorst.  Appropriately nicknamed Gherardo delle Notti (“Gerard of the nights”), he specialised in dramatic night scenes. A leading figure of the group known as the Utrecht caravaggisti, his style was greatly influenced by witnessing Caravaggio’s work first hand in Rome. This lecture will explore Honthorst’s development during his time in Rome and assess the impact Caravaggio had on his approach to painting both secular and religious scenes.

Location: Lecture Theatre, National Gallery of Ireland

 

Caravaggio’s Boy Bitten by Lizard

Fixed size image

Description: I will be giving a short pop-up talk on Caravaggio’s Boy Bitten by Lizard. This fascinating painting is open to various levels of interpretation and prompts many intriguing questions. On loan from the National Gallery, London for the ‘Beyond Caravaggio’ exhibition, this is a rare opportunity to spend time examining this bizarre work in person.

‘Crawford at the Castle’ Extra tour

National Gallery ‘Beyond Caravaggio’ Pop-up Talk 1

Description: For the first time in the 200 years since the foundation of the Crawford Gallery in Cork, fifty-nine fascinating paintings by a diverse range of Irish artists from the collection are currently on exhibition in Dublin Castle. The tour will place these paintings within the history of Irish art as well as the historical context.

Location: State Apartments and Coach House, Dublin Castle

 

Autumn 2016

Irish Art, 1900-1950

UCD Adult Education Courses

The Sublime and the Beautiful: An Introduction to Romanticism

Art Nouveau

Two Guided tours – 8th December 2016

Location: National Gallery of Ireland

Date: Thursday 8th December

Duration: 1 hour per tour

1st Topic – 20th century Irish Art 

Time: 11 am to 12 pm

2nd Topic – 19th century Irish Art 

Time: 1 pm to 2 pm

Cost: €10 per person

Public Lecture: ‘Painting Paris, urban landscapes from the bourgeois to the bohemian’

van-gogh_large

Location: National Gallery of Ireland

 

Public Lecture: ‘Leonardo da Vinci’s Female Portraits’

Location: National Gallery of Ireland

 

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