Once upon a time there was some certainty: don’t do anything, stay at home, take some exercise. Now, the choice is yours… but I do hope you are taking up the opportunities to travel, and to experience things in real life rather than online. Nevertheless, not everything is always easy – and so I shall continue to lecture online for those who find it convenient! On the right you can see what I’m up to, including events that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home, and even, when it becomes possible, in person – possibly even in another country…

…back from Rome and Portugal, and back to lectures and exhibitions…

I’ve decided to keep going with zoom talks inspired by my foreign travels, even if those travels won’t necessarily go as smoothly as we’d hope! We realised recently, for example, that a planned trip to Stockholm, postponed from last May, will have to be postponed again to next May. One bonus is that we will offer the trip twice, so there will be more places available – and I know that at least one of you was on the waiting list for this year… More on that below, though.

For all sorts of reasons I do not record my talks (I’m keeping this paragraph in because people keep asking!) Please accept my apologies if you are not available. Below you will find links to Tixoom, who deal with all the ticketing. They will email you with a ticket, which includes the link for the talk itself, and you will also receive a receipt from Stripe, who deal with the money. This sounds obvious, but if you don’t get the email with the ticket it is so much easier for me if you contact me more than 5 minutes before the talk is due to start – thank you! However, I will check my emails until at least 10 minutes before the start if you do have problems…

The next talk will be Frans Hals: The Male Portrait, which inaugurates a series of talks about exhibitions taking place across Europe, simply because I know that not everyone will be able to see them. Tickets for this one, which takes place on Monday 25 October, are already available on the above link, where you can also find a bit more information. Subsequent exhibitions I want to cover are Vermeer: On Reflection (2 November, based on the exhibition in Dresden), Hogarth and Europe at Tate Britain (16 November), and Alison Watt: A Portrait Without Likeness, which is on at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh (23 November). Tickets for these talks are now on sale, and you can find more information on Tixoom via the relevant links above.

Alison Watt, Centifolia, 2019 (detail) (c) Alison Watt

From 18 – 21 October I will be heading to Ravenna and the Comacchio Lagoon with Art History Abroad. Having started the year with a lecture on the glorious mosaics, which I am just about to repeat, it will be such a joy to see them in person – the best surviving Byzantine art in the world, and among the best mosaics anywhere. We will also head out into the Comacchio lagoon, enjoy great local food, and visit the Abbey of Pomposa, one of Italy’s little-visited wonders of Romanesque architecture.

We will visit Dresden from 4 – 7 November to see the exhibition dedicated to Vermeer and his Dutch contemporaries. The permanent collection of Old Masters – the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister – is not to be missed. Remarkably rich and wide-ranging, it has some truly wonderful paintings – including a very famous work by Raphael which most people probably think is in Italy. We will also travel up the River Elbe to visit Meissen, and take a tour of the porcelain factory.

My last trip of the year will be to Vienna from 2-5 December. The Albertina is hosting an exhibition of Modigliani, showing how important he was for the development of modernism (far more to the point than his reputation as a troubled man who painted pretty pictures), while the Belvedere will be showing the artists working in Austria at the time of Dürer – who we don’t think about often as we spend a lot of time looking at Dürer, of course! This will inspire us to visit the Old Masters at the Kiunsthistorisches Museum, and the avant garde – in terms of Klimt and his colleagues – elsewhere.

In September I should have visited Stockholm, but in the end that was not possible. Instead there will be two trips next year, from 26-29 May and 29 May – 1 June 2022 (I’ll drop the first group at the airport as I pick up the second!) This will be an introduction to the history and art of a truly wonderful city, looking at unique renaissance sculpture, and the 19th Century masters, Anders Zorn – who rivals Sargent and Sorolla in his voluptuous use of paint – and Carl Larrson, whose beautiful paintings contain a delicacy of touch and colour which is bound to delight. There will also be a nautical theme: we will also take a boat trip inland to see the Queen’s Castle – Drottningholm – and visit the Vasa, the remains of a 17th Century shipwreck which far outshines the Mary Rose. Do contact Art History Abroad if you think you might be interested!

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