Walton and Hersham

Decorative & Fine Arts Society


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Walton and Hersham


Programme for 2011Brueghel Childrens Games

Festive Supper - Celebrations and Festivities: Pieter Breugel and his Heritage

13 December 2011

Clare Ford-Wille

(booking opens at the October meeting)

We will explore the emergence off festivities and celebrations in the work of Pieter Breugel and his immediate successors and will compare games on the ice, wedding banquets and villageparties.

Vienna and the Habsburgs

27 September 2011, Edward Saunders

(booking opens at July meeting)


Vienna Schoenbrunn
Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna
The summer residence of the Habsburgs

The Habsburgs were one of the great dynasties of Europe. Originally a minor noble house in northern Switzerland, they came to dominate half of Europe through marriage, political skill and pertinacity, extending their rule from the Netherlands to Spain and from Austria into Hungary and the modern Czech Republic. In addition, by virtue of wearing the crown of the Holy Roman Empire over many centuries, they held sway over both Germany and Northern Italy.

Not only were the Habsburg Emperors at the centre of European affairs for many centuries, but they were also, in general, great artistic patrons as well. The day of special interest will begin with those rulers whose influence upon European art was the greatest, starting with Charles V and his son, Philip II of Spain. They, and their successors, patronized such famous names as Bosch, Titian, Rubens & Velazquez. Contemporary with Philip II was his cousin, the Emperor Rudolph II, who established his capital in Prague, and assembled there one of the most remarkable and diverse collections ever known, many items of which now form the nucleus of the renowned Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. When the Turkish siege of Vienna was lifted in 1683, Vienna flourished as never before and the day will conclude with the later Habsburgs, the rise of Vienna as a great European capital and its artistic and architectural glories up to the 1st World War.

Recommended Reading

"The Habsburgs" by Edward Crankshaw (Weidenfeld & Nicholson 1971)
"The Habsburgs" by Andrew Eatcroft (Viking 1995)
"Princes & Artists: Patronage and Ideology at four Habsburg Courts 1517 -1633" by Hugh Trevor Roper (Thames & Hudson 1976)
"The Courts of Europe: Politics, Patronage & Royalty, 1400 - 1800" edited by A.G.Dickens (Thames & Hudson 1977)

Previous Special Interest Days

Edward Elgar - Music and Architecture of The Three Choirs Festival

15 March 2011, Denis Moriarty

(booking opens at February meeting)

The day will include:Worcester Cathedral

  • Lecture I - Elgar's early years, 1857 – 1900
  • Lecture II - The Oratorios, 1900 – 1906
  • The lectures are illustrated with musical extracts and tell of the architecture and environment of his formative years, and evaluate the life and far-reaching achievements of one of England's greatest composers.

    The Three Choirs Festival is held each August alternately at the cathedrals of Hereford, Gloucester and Worcester and it is closely identified with the work of Edward Elgar and Ralph Vaughan Williams. The 2011 Festival is in Worcester from 6-13 August and features English music, from Handel’s is in Worcester to Elgar’s Caractacus and Vaughan Williams’ An Oxford Elegy. Around these are works by Beethoven, Bruch, Mahler and Mozart, as well as Brahms’ masterpiece Ein Deutsches Requiem.

    Biography of Denis Moriaty

    Denis Moriarty is a lecturer who spent most of his earlier working life as a BBC television producer. He joined the BBC in 1959 and his programmes include Edwin Lutyens Master Architect and The Triumph of the West.

    He lectures widely for NADFAS and is a tutor at Cambridge University's Extramural Department. He directs study courses at music festivals at home and abroad - Prague, Salzburg, Schwarzenberg (Austria) Vienna and Finland, and leads architectural and historical tours in England and to France, Italy, Portugal, Malta, the Azores, Sri Lanka, north and south India, and east coast America. He has also worked in Egypt, Mexico and Latin America.

    Denis Moriarty's prime interests are music (he sang for a number of years in the Philharmonia Chorus) and architecture; he has a special love of England and its churches and enjoys long walks in the countryside. He is a keen opera and theatre-goer, and at university performed in plays and revue with, among others, Dudley Moore. Denis Moriarty is a former Mayor of Henley-on- Thames and was twice a parliamentary candidate in the two general elections of 1974. He lives in central London.