Special Interest Days/ Study Days Colour and the Artist’s Palette: Seeing Red, Feeling Blue and The Peril of Yellow Lynne Gibson THURSDAY 3rd OCTOBER 2019 10:30 to 3pm. £30.  Lunch and refreshments included. Old Stable Room, Griffin Inn, 174 Main Street, Swithland LE12 8TJ   Doors Open 9.30am Click here for further information about the day and a booking form. Study Day 2020 Barry Venning Paintbrushes at Dawn: the World’s Greatest Artistic Feuds, Rows and Quarrels Synopsis The late Christopher Hitchens, who knew a thing or two about feuds, once wrote that a really first rate bust up requires one of at least two things: a clash of strong personalities, and a conflict of principles. The history of art is peppered with first rate bust ups: between the great early Renaissance artists, Brunelleschi and Ghiberti, between Constable and Turner in the early 1830s, between Salvador Dali and the Surrealist leader, Andre Breton in the 1930s and, most recently, between the graffiti artists Banksy and ‘King’ Robbo, who painted out and amended each other’s works. There are many more. They are highly entertaining but they also tell us a great deal about key issues in art history Session 1 – Great Art, Huge Egos. The modern concept of the artist as a genius rather than a craftsman developed during the Renaissance, and so it is no coincidence that the era saw some of the bitterest (and earliest) recorded artistic feuds. The first session looks at the bitter, lifelong rivalry between the great sculptor, Ghiberti, and the architect, Brunelleschi, then considers Michelangelo’s appalling behaviour towards colleagues such as Raphael, Perugino, Francia and, above all, Leonardo da Vinci. But Michelangelo was a saint compared with the sculptor, goldsmith and writer, Benvenuto Cellini, who was periodically in prison, frequently on the run and, on one occasion, sentenced to death for brawling in Florence. He also confessed to having murdered one of his artistic rivals. The Renaissance also witnessed the founding of the earliest national academies of art, which meant that henceforth artistic quarrels often took on an international quality, as artists claimed their country as supreme in the visual arts. Session 2 – Artists, Critics and the Royal Academy The history of British art during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was particularly rich in rows and disputes, as artists in the newly established Royal Academy (founded 1768) jockeyed for position, influence and sales. This session looks at, among other things, attacks by William Blake and others on the first President, Sir Joshua Reynolds. It also considers the painter Benjamin Robert Haydon’s career-long, self-destructive war with the Royal Academy, and Turner’s dispute with his fellow landscapist, John Constable. The nineteenth century also witnessed the rise of the critic as powerful taste-maker, most notably John Ruskin, who accused the painter, Whistler, of ‘throwing a pot of paint in the public’s face’; it was a slur that led to the most famous (and funniest) libel trial in British legal history.  Session 3 – ‘Dust-ups’ in modern art.  During the twentieth century, the academies became increasingly irrelevant as the most exciting and challenging art was produced by a host of avant-garde groups and artists, many of whom were at loggerheads with one another. This final session looks at some of the strangest disputes in the history of modern art, including Salvador Dali’s spat with the Surrealist leader, Andre Breton, the artist John Latham’s brilliant take-down of the American critic, Clement Greenberg, and finishing the day with the bitter but wonderfully entertaining feud between the graffiti artists, Banksy and Robbo. Further details and booking form later.
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