The Woodgates


See also individual ARTISTS

The Camden Town Group
Founded in 1911, and inspired by French Post-Impressionism (and working-class life in London), the short-lived Camden Town Group chronicled changes in British society immediately before and during World War 1, and heralded a new modern spirit in British art.

From Elizabeth to Elizabeth - Five Centuries of British Art
The development of British art from the Elizabethans, with their exquisite miniatures and hieratic portraits of the Queen, to the extraordinary diversity of works produced in the reign of our present Queen.

Victorian Art: the stories and the scandals
This lecture will examine Victorian life as reflected in the art of the time, covering a wide range of Victorian experience including, for example, the tragedy of the millions who were forced to emigrate from these islands during the nineteenth century because of economic circumstances, the thrill the Victorians experienced when using the omnibus or the railway, or visiting the Derby, and the ambiguous attitude to women.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
In 1848 a group of young artists got together to form a secret society which they called The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. They wanted to establish a new kind of art based on serious subject matter and the painstaking study of nature. Holman Hunt said, “... our talk is deepest treason against our betters.” As proof of this, their early works in the new style provoked a storm of hostile criticism. A few years later, however, works by the Pre-Raphaelites were to be among the most popular exhibits at the Royal Academy. This lecture will make clear the reasons why the Pre-Raphaelites felt that art was in need of reform, how their art was different from the popular art of the day, the reasons for the criticisms of the group and for their gradual rise to fame and acceptance.

The Changing Face of Nature: A History of British Landscape Painting
Since the 17th century, British artists have been responding to the beauty and variety of the British landscape. This lecture will trace the origins and development of this much-loved subject in art, and will include works by Gainsborough, Turner, Constable, the English Impressionists and, perhaps surprisingly, Turner Prize artists.

Looking at Portraits - a very English taste
In England, for about 200 years after the Reformation, portraiture was virtually the only subject in art. During this time most major painters working here were foreigners; the most important of these were Holbein and van Dyck. From the 18th century on, outstanding British portrait painters such as Reynolds and Gainsborough came to prominence, and the portrait has continued to intrigue and fascinate right up to the present day, as artists such as Lucian Freud continue to explore and expand the subject.

The Mystical and Spiritual in British Art
The eccentric and visionary world of some of the most creative and imaginative British painters, including William Blake, Samuel Palmer, Stanley Spencer, Paul Nash and Graham Sutherland.