Sunflowers and Lumière: the art of Vincent van Gogh
Under the grey skies of
northern Europe, a genius artist longed for the sun. Out of
his own inner turmoil and with the unstinting help of his
practical brother, Van Gogh explored colour and landscape in
ways which have shifted everyone’s perceptions. This lecture
tells that story and opens our eyes to his world…
The Two Faces of Russia: Moscow and St Petersburg
Some Russian artists
identify with Moscow, others with Petersburg. What is it
that determines their loyalties? The Russian philosopher
Nikolai Berdyaev spoke about Russian culture being
inherently “schismatic” and partly what he had in mind was
Russia’s divided soul, with a personality split between the
Western-looking, modern metropolis of St. Petersburg, and
the oriental looking ancient city of Moscow. Moscow and St.
Petersburg are indeed the two faces of Russia. Like the
imperial emblem of the double-headed eagle, they look in
different directions – Moscow towards Asia, and St.
Petersburg towards Europe. This lecture explores the art and
architecture of both of these great cities, examining their
different characters and ways of life, and looking at how
and why they increased and decreased in importance before
and after the 1917 Revolution.