posted on 18/07/23
They take place every Thursday from 14 September–5 October 2023 at 4.30pm (GMT +1) and, including Q&A, will probably last an hour. They are available for viewing for eight weeks after the last episode is streamed (30th November 2023).
Since the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century, France has been a divided country. The Paris skyline is dominated by two iconic buildings that represent the France of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity and the Catholic and conservative France of the Ancien Régime that remains strong to this day. This talk will explore the history and symbolism of the two buildings and show how they have been represented over the past 130 years.
The early evening ritual of the aperitif is an honoured Parisian ritual that has been widely celebrated in the visual arts and in song. We shall examine Belle Epoque posters by Alphonse Mucha, Jules Cheret and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and the stylish Art Deco advertisements of Leonetto Cappiello and Cassandre – and we shall hear the voices of Edith Piaf, Yvette Guilbert, Damia, Fréhel and Marie Dubas singing of the joys and sorrows of drinking.
For the past two centuries Paris has attracted artists from all over the world. Many French and foreign artists have been inspired by the beauties and life of the city to create their finest works. We shall see Paris through the eyes of Girtin, Turner, Daumier, Monet, Renoir, Caillebotte, Pissarro, Boldini, Sargent, Van Gogh, Dufy, Utrillo, Chagall, as well as the great photographers Atget and Brassaï.
No other city has inspired so many popular songs as Paris. Not only the glamorous city centre and the artistic Left Bank and the picturesque Montmartre, but also the gritty working-class suburbs of Ménilmontant and Belleville have produced singers, songs and musicians. This lecture will offer a survey of those songs sung by such great artists as Edith Piaf, Maurice Chevalier and Charles Trenet.
Historian, writer and broadcaster. He studied at UCL and the Courtauld and was senior lecturer at Christies Education for many years. He has worked for the Art Fund, Royal Opera House, National Gallery, V&A. He has published on 19th- and early 20th-century painting and on historical vocal recordings. His latest book is Music Wars: 1937–1945.
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