Walton and Hersham

Decorative & Fine Arts Society


Programme of Events 2006 

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Walton and Hersham

  • Ten lectures a year
  • Visits
  • Special Interest Days
  • NADFAS Review, a magazine printed quarterly
  • Church Recording at St Mary Magdalene, Littleton, Shepperton
  • A Young Arts project each year
  • Tours
  • Heritage Volunteers

The Lecture Programme for 2006

Lectures are held at Hersham Village Hall on Queens Road by Hersham Green on Thursday afternoons at 2.30pm.

Next years programme.



January 12th - Jo Walton
Dust & Ashes: The Beauty of Venice from Casanova to Cavour

After her triumph as a great Renaissance power Venice fell into a long and slow decline. She became, by degrees, the world’s playground; her reputation as a centre for music, gambling, luxury and sex growing ever greater. Yet, in the midst of decay she produced magnificent Baroque palaces, superb paintings and wonderful decorative arts.

J. M. W. Turner (1775-1851)
The Grand Canal, Venice, 1835

February 9th - Anne Anderson
Art Nouveau: Art & Design 1900

Anne, whose mother Mrs Joy Hoole is a member of our society, will illustrate work in Brussels, Paris, Vienna and Glasgow around 1900 when Art Nouveau was at its apogee. She will talk about Mucha, Lalique, Guimard, Horta, Gallé, Mackintosh, the Glasgow Boys and the Glasgow Girls. It promises to be a fascinating lecture.

Hector Guimard (1867-1942)
Paris Metro entrance

March 9th - Digby Hague-Holmes
Tchaikovsky: Three Ladies of Influence

After his outstanding lecture on Elgar last year, Digby is back to talk to us on Tchaikovsky and his relationships with three ladies. He will again use slides and taped music to illustrate this intriguing lecture.

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

April 13th - Hilary Williams
Wren’s City Churches

Hilary will talk to us on Wren’s city churches, which will provide a great background to the London walk later in that month.

Christopher Wren (1632-1723)
St Mary le Bow, 1670-80

May 11th - Mary Acton
Paul Cézanne & his World

This is the centenary year of the death of Paul Cézanne. This lecture will provide an exciting opportunity to explore new insights into his development, his relationship with other artists and his role as the so-called ‘Father of Modern Art’.

Paul Cézanne (1839-1906)
Self-portrait, 1875

June 8th - Mark Corby
Medieval Paris & London: A Comparison of Style & Splendour

This lecture will compare the lifestyles in medieval Paris and London showing the differences in style and splendour in this frenetic and interesting period of history.

A view of London from a manuscript of the poems of Charles, Duke of Orléans (1394–1465).
The principal building is the White Tower in the Tower of London. Charles of Orléans was taken prisoner at the Battle of Agincourt and spent 25 years in England.
(Text © tiscali reference, Image © The Art Archive/British Museum/Harper Collins Publishers)

July 13th - Paul Roberts
The Roman Art of Eating & Drinking

This talk will offer a fascinating and entertaining introduction to all aspects of the Roman table. The Romans placed the act of eating and the ceremonies surrounding it at the centre of their life. We will look at beautiful objects together with evidence from archaeological sites to see how the Romans obtained, prepared and consumed their food together with original recipes from the days of the Roman Empire.

T. Couture (1815-1879)
Romans of the Decadence, 1847

September 14th - Elizabeth Rumbelow
Three Romantics: Chopin, Delacroix & George Sand

Elizabeth lives locally in Oxshott. In this lecture she will follow the separate and intertwined lives of three leading exponents of the Romantic Movement, Chopin, Delacroix and George Sand and also explore their individual art. She will look at the paintings of Delacroix with their brilliance of colour and highly dramatic effects, discuss the music of Chopin with its phenomenal emotional range, and comment on George Sand’s amazing output of novels, plays and other writings. This lecture is a tale of three Romantics, two of whom were geniuses and one an extraordinary woman.

E. Delacroix (1798-1863)
Liberty Leading the People, 1830


October 12th - AGM followed by
Sarah Searight
Visions of Paradise: Architecture of Decorative Art in the Islamic World

This lecture is an introduction to the arts and architecture of the Islamic world, ranging in time from the early days of Islam in the 7th century AD to the 15th century, and geographically through Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Andalucia, Iran and Central Asia. The arts are principally decorative, to be seen not only on buildings but also on ceramics, metalwork, ivories and illustrated manuscripts. This is a supremely colourful world which is of increasing significance today.

Mahan, Kerman, Iran.
Built in the 1300s


November 9th - Rebecca Drew
Rembrandt the Rebel: his Life, his Times, his Tragedy

Alone among the famous artists of the 17th century, Rembrandt did not go to Rome. He stayed in Amsterdam always vying with his great contemporary Rubens to be a ‘history’ painter. To earn his living he specialized in portraiture. He constantly rebelled, by using contemporary models, by his use of paint and more generally against the Dutch Calvinistic, religious and social mores. He died, aged 63, penniless having outlived his wife, his lover and his son but still defiant.

Lecture Notes

We are here to celebrate the 400th Anniversary of Rembrandt’s birth. He was born at Leiden on the River Rhine, the son of a miller. Rembrandts’ Europe was war torn — Civil War in England and the beginning of the break up of the Hapsburg Spanish Empire. Nowhere was the political situation more keenly felt than in the Netherlands. By 1606 the Dutch had been at war with the Spanish for 40 years and it was to continue for another 40 years.

The final victory of the Dutch produced a climate of renewal in art and cultural matters. By this time the Dutch were the most powerful seafaring nation in Europe. They had sailed up the River Hudson and founded New Amsterdam, the present New York. The Dutch East India Company was famous all over the world. The Dutch wanted Rembrandt to be the Rubens of Amsterdam. But he was never the urbane and cultivated ambassador with royal European patronage as was Rubens. Lacking the European clientele of Rubens, he painted more self- portraits than any other artist in the history of art.

It can be argued that Rembrandt was the greater artist who had the more profound effect on art over succeeding centuries. He was the inspiration for Van Gogh, Munch and Picasso. His first rebellion was against his own art world. He broke tradition by using contemporary models and inventing unfathomable brush strokes using the wooden end of his brush and even his fingers. He rebelled too against Dutch Calvinistic and social mores. He lived with his mistress after his wife died in 1642 and was declared bankrupt.

Shakespeare changed literature and poetry and theatre for ever. Caravaggio changed art forever and Rembrandt was in every way Caravaggio’s acolyte. These three democratised representation by putting ordinary people into extraordinary events. Caravaggio killed a man in 1606 at the age of 35. In the remaining four years of his life when he was on the run, he produced his most innovative and spectacular works. Rembrandt painted the Nightwatch — his masterpiece thirty years later at the age of 36. His greatest triumph also marked the beginning of his social downfall and the beginning of his most fruitful and innovative years.

He died in 1669 age 63, bankrupt and a social outcast like Caravaggio and both were buried in unknown graves.

Reading list
“Rembrandt.” by Benedikt Taschen. Taschen
“Rembrandt.” by Christopher White. World of Art
“Rembrandt: Substance and Shadow” by Pascal Bonafoux. New Horizons
“Rembrandt’s Portrait: A Biography.” by Charles L. Mee Jr. Published by Simon and Schuster

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606–1669)
Self-portrait, 1661