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Bulletin 6, 2018

LONDON DAYS

‘Dear, damn’d, distracting town’ – Alexander Pope

Ancient Greece at the British Museum See page 5 for full details

If you would like to receive our fortnightly e-mail updates on the latest range of London Days, please e-mail info@ martinrandall.co.uk, or call us on 020 8742 3355. Details and dates are released frequently throughout the year.

The itinerary is detailed and meticulously planned with special arrangements and privileged access significant features. Refreshments and lunches are included and planned in appropriate settings for sustenance, conversation and reflection.

London Days are all-inclusive, non-residential tours opening doors in the capital to its wonderful art, architecture and history.

These are active, fulfilling days, often with a lot of walking and standing. Travel is mainly by Underground, sometimes taxi, occasionally by private coach or bus.

They are led by carefully-chosen experts who enthuse, interpret and inspire, bringing to life each specialist theme. Radio guides enable lecturers to talk in a normal conversational voice while participants can hear without difficulty whether in a museum or on a main road.


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Contents – London Days by date

Those with titles in italics fall on a Saturday January 2019

17: The London Backstreet Walk.................. 16

9: Great Railway Termini................................. 13

10: Venetian Art in London...............................4

30: Hawksmoor................................................ 16

23: Ancient Greece at the British Museum................................................... 5

May 2019

30: Ancient Greece at the British Museum................................................... 5

30: The Genius of Titian.................................... 5

1: Hampstead in the 1930s........................... 17

November 2019

7: The Tudors.................................................... 18

4: Japanese Art in London.............................. 10

31: Islamic Art in London...................................6

10: The London Backstreet Walk.................. 16

8: Caravaggio & Rembrandt........................... 19

February 2019

22: Great Railway Termini............................... 13

12: The Italian Renaissance............................ 10

6: Ashurbanipal: King of the World.................6

June 2019

13: Great Railway Termini............................... 13

7: The Golden Age of British Painting............7 14: The Golden Age of Dutch Painting..........9 15: London's Underground Railway................8 22: The Italian Renaissance............................ 10 March 2019 6: Japanese Art in London.............................. 10 11: Arts of India................................................ 11 12: Spanish Art in London.............................. 12 13: Ancient Greece at the British Museum................................................... 5 19: The Italian Renaissance............................ 10 20: The Golden Age of British Painting..........7 21: Roses and Nightingales............................ 12 25: Arts & Crafts............................................... 13 27: Great Railway Termini............................... 13 29: Ancient Egypt at the British Museum..................................8 April 2019 2: Ever Changing City Skyline........................ 14 8: Interwar Interiors......................................... 15 9: London's Underground Railway...................8 15: Wellington in London............................... 15

7: LONDON CHORAL DAY........................... 20 18: The London Backstreet Walk.................. 16 20: Hawksmoor................................................ 16 July 2019 2: The Ever Changing City Skyline................ 14 8: Interwar Interiors......................................... 15 9: Arts & Crafts................................................. 13 September 2019 3: London's Underground Railway...................8 4: The London Backstreet Walk.................... 16 10: The Tudors.................................................. 18

15: Islamic Art in London...................................6 19: The Golden Age of British Painting..........7 21: The Genius of Titian.................................... 5 22: Ancient Egypt at the British Museum..................................8 27: London's Underground Railway................8 December 2019 3: The Golden Age of British Painting............7 4: Caravaggio & Rembrandt........................... 19 5: The Italian Renaissance.............................. 10 5: Ancient Greece at the British Museum................................................... 5

11: Hampstead in the 1930s......................... 17 14: The London Squares Walk.......................... 19 15: Wellington in London............................... 15 19: Hawksmoor................................................ 16 20: Ancient Egypt at the British Museum..................................8 24: Arts & Crafts............................................... 13 October 2019 2: The London Backstreet Walk.................... 16 8: Interwar Interiors......................................... 15 Illustrations. Above: The City of London, 20th-century reproduction of an engraving by S. & N. Buck, 1749. Front cover: Ancient Greeks, lecture

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Contents – General information Making a booking There is no booking form for London Days. You can book over the phone, or online at www.martinrandall.com. If booking by phone, we will need to know: •

Name and date of the London Day(s) you are booking.

Your name(s), as you would like it/ them to appear to other participants.

Your address, telephone number and email address (if you have one).

Any special dietary requirements and your contact details for the night prior to the day.

Payment. If by credit or debit card, give the card number, start date and expiry date (but for security not in an e-mail). There is no charge for using either a credit or debit card.

London Days vouchers: the perfect gift Since its inception in 2012 our London Days programme has opened doors and minds to the wonders of the capital, and has continued to grow in breadth and popularity. London Days gift vouchers offer the opportunity to share the experience of a cultural day out in the capital and are an ideal gift. The gift voucher, a large postcard print depicting St Paul’s Cathedral, can be purchased to any value, or for a specified day. For further information or to purchase a London Days gift voucher, please contact us on: Martin Randall Travel: 020 8742 3355, or email info@martinrandall.co.uk Martin Randall Australasia: 1300 55 95 95, or email anz@martinrandall.com.au North America: 1 800 988 6168, or email usa@martinrandall.com

Confirmation will be sent to you upon receipt of payment. Further details including joining instructions will be sent about two weeks before the day. Cancellation. We will return the full amount if you notify us 22 or more days before the event. We will retain 50% if cancellation is made within three weeks and 100% if within three days. Please put your cancellation in writing to info@ martinrandall.co.uk. We advise taking out insurance in case of cancellation and recommend that overseas clients are also covered for possible medical and repatriation costs.

These are active, fulfilling days, often with a lot of walking and standing. Travel is mainly by Underground, sometimes taxi, occasionally by private coach or bus.

We also expect to run the following London Day. Please contact us to register your interest. London Parks Walk new

Alternatively, contact us to receive our fortnightly e-mail updates on the latest range of London Days. Send an e-mail to info@martinrandall.co.uk, or call 020 8742 3355.

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Venetian Art in London Colour, light and canals Thursday 10 January 2019 (lf 404) Lecturer: Lucy Whitaker From the eleventh century Venice developed into a wealthy trading empire with Byzantium and the rest of Europe, its unique position made it the gateway between western Europe and the East. The end of the fifteenth century and the sixteenth century saw great achievements in architecture, sculpture and painting. Trading links with the East meant that Venetian artists could obtain the finest pigments for oil paint and it was in Venice that artists developed the technique of painting in oils. They became famous for their skill in creating illusionistic scenes in rich colours, with an awareness of light affected by the continuously changing effects of large skies and the ever-moving water. The Venetian Republic was proud of its maritime prowess and independence and its history and system of government profoundly influenced Venetian art. The Bellini family, Titian, Jacopo Tintoretto and Paolo Veronese fulfilled commissions for the State, the Church and nobility. In the eighteenth century when Venice’s mercantile empire was in decline the city experienced a second great flourishing of art which was fluent and elegant and full of

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colour and light. Artists such as Sebastiano Ricci and Giambattista Tiepolo were international, travelling throughout Europe and much in demand. These artists looked back at Venice’s great past while their contemporary the great topographical artist Canaletto provided pictorial records of the city for its visitors. The National Gallery has a superb collection of Venetian art both Renaissance and eighteenth century which is explored during the four sessions here. The day is led by Lucy Whitaker, senior curator of paintings for the Royal Collection, who has worked and published on both sixteenth and eighteenth century Venetian art. Start: 10.15am, National Gallery. Finish: c.5.15pm, National Gallery. Price: £205. This includes a donation to the gallery, mid-morning refreshments, midafternoon refreshments and lunch. Fitness: There is a lot of standing in galleries during the course of the day. Group size: maximum 14 participants.

Image: Piazza San Marco

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Ancient Greece at the British Museum

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so-called Elgin Marbles, famously – infamously – the highlight of the collection, and among the most fascinating and beautiful creations in western art. Lunch is at the Great Court restaurant, after which there is a little back-tracking to look at the development of pottery from the Archaic to the Classical periods, almost the only evidence of the glories of Greek painting that remains. Finally comes the Hellenistic period, Alexander the Great and after, especially the remarkable monuments from Lycia, the Nereid Monument and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.

A product of the Renaissance and of the Enlightenment, it is appropriate that the British Museum should be housed in a building modelled on Ancient Greek architecture – indeed, it is the grandest example of the Greek Revival in the country. It is equally appropriate that it houses one of the greatest collections of Greek art and artefacts outside Greece, given that the Classical world was the first and for long the primary object of antiquarian study and literary exegesis in Europe. It is the case that Britain had a special if controversial role in the creation of modern Greece. The exceptionally wide range of its holdings enables the day to begin two millennia before the Classical period and to finish with Roman copies of Greek sculpture made hundreds of years after the originals. The day consists of four sessions in the galleries of approximately an hour each, with relatively leisurely refreshment breaks. The first session looks at Minoan and Mycenaean Greece, and at the Geometric and

Start: 10.15am, British Museum. Finish: by 5.15pm. Price: £195. This includes lunch and morning and afternoon refreshments at the Great Court Restaurant. Group size: maximum 14 participants. Combine the March day with: Spanish Art in London, Tuesday 12 March. Archaic periods which saw Greek civilisation emerge to greatness again after the mysterious extinction of the earlier civilisations. The second session is largely devoted to the peerless sculptures from the Parthenon in Athens, the

The Genius of Titian National Gallery and Wallace Collection

Titian’s genius was recognised early in his career, and by the time of his death in his eighties (1576) the esteem in which he was held probably exceeded that attaching to any other living artist in previous history. Moreover, his star has never waned since, contrary to the usual pattern which sees even ‘great’ artists cast into the shadows for a while by the capricious wheel of taste. Such was his prestige that in his maturity rarely did even the grandest of Venetian nobility manage to commission a picture from him, even though Venice was his only long-term place of residence as an adult. Only the greatest elsewhere in Italy were so honoured – the Dukes of Ferrara and Urbino, and the Pope – and, beyond the peninsula, the most powerful rulers in Europe, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and his son Philip II of Spain. It follows that subsequently paintings by Titian were to be found only in the most illustrious princely collections or, when the balance of financial power shifted towards the mercantile and manufacturing nations, in the national galleries

Combine the December 2019 day with: Caravaggio and Rembrandt, Wednesday 4 December.

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only of the most prosperous powers.

Image: copper engraving 1787 by J. L. Delignon, after Titian’s ‘Perseus & Andromeda’ (detail).

Wednesday 30 January 2019 (lf 411) Thursday 21 November 2019 (lf 907) Lecturer: Lucy Whitaker

Image: section of the Parthenon Frieze, wood engraving c. 1880.

Wednesday 23 January 2019 (lf 410) Wednesday 13 March 2019 (lf 437) Wednesday 30 October 2019 (lf 866) Thursday 5 December 2019 (lf 926) Lecturer: Professor Antony Spawforth

Even leaving aside the 3 or 4 which are disputed, London’s National Gallery has 15 unquestioned Titians, a total exceeded only by the Prado in Madrid and the Kunsthistoriches Museum in Vienna. There is another on public display in London, Perseus & Andromeda in the Wallace Collection. The day is led by Lucy Whitaker, Senior Curator of Paintings and Head of Research for the Royal Collection Trust in London. Start: Wallace Collection, c. 10.30am (nearest underground stations Bond Street or Marble Arch). Finish: The National Gallery, c.5.00pm. Price: £205, including morning and afternoon refreshments and lunch, donations to both collections and a taxi journey. Group size: maximum 14 participants Combine the January day with: Islamic Art in London, Thursday 31 January 2019. Combine the November day with: The Golden Age of British Painting, Tuesday 19 November 2019.

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Image: Mural Decoration, Print c.1870 from The Art Journal

Islamic Art in London The V&A & the British Museum

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Thursday 31 January 2019 (lf 412) Friday 15 November 2019 (lf 899) Lecturer: Professor James Allan Two of Britain’s greatest museums provide a London treasure-house of Islamic works of art. The first is the V&A. One of its original aims, in 1852, was to inspire British designers and manufacturers. And its Islamic collections did just that, one of its most notable recipients being William de Morgan (1839-1917), the great lustre ceramicist. Today, the Islamic gallery, focused on the famous Ardabil carpet, houses an awesome assemblage of Islamic works of art, including ceramics, tilework, metalwork, woodwork, glass, rock crystal, textiles and carpets. It also has a valuable educational group of cases which display the four elements so common in Islamic art – calligraphy, geometry, the arabesque (‘inspired by plants’), and figural art (‘images and poetry’). The day will start with these to form an initial understanding of Islamic art and what aesthetic or religious principles have helped to fashion it. Moving through the gallery, art and design are put into their Islamic cultural context, while enjoying the different designs displayed, particularly on carpets and textiles, as

well as learning about individual pieces. The British Museum offers the visitor an incredibly rich collection of Islamic ceramics and metalwork, as well as some works of art on paper. The development of Islamic art in the different media is traced and the techniques explored which enabled them to evolve and develop, and to have such an impact on Italian Renaissance ceramics and design. The visit will include the major redisplay in the new Albukhary Foundation Galleries of the Islamic world opening in October 2018. Start: 10.15am at the V&A. Finish: approximately 5.15pm at the British Museum. Price: £205 in 2018, and £210 in 2019.. This includes morning and afternoon refreshments and lunch in the William Morris room at the V&A, donations and one journey by Underground. Fitness: travel is by Underground and there is some walking and standing during the day. Group size: maximum 14 participants.

Ashurbanipal, King of the World Exhibition and Assyrian collections at the British Museum Wednesday 6 February 2019 (lf 409) - Currently full Lecturer: Professor Lloyd LlewellynJones King Ashurbanipal of Assyria (r. 668–c. 631 BC) was the most powerful ruler on earth, describing himself, appropriately, in inscriptions as ‘King of the World’. His rulership was centred in the great city of Nineveh (now in northern Iraq) and his empire stretched from the shores of the eastern Mediterranean to the Zagros mountains of Iran. His reign marked the high point of the Neo-Assyrian empire in terms of military matters, building works, as well as literature and the arts. Conquest and culture found a perfect synergy in the person of this amazing king. Ashurbanipal was an astute self-publicist and proved the vigour of his rulership in sculpted scenes showing him hunting and killing fierce lions and in the killing of enemy soldiers. He boasted of his successes on the hunting field and the battlefield as he crushed his enemies with brute force. And yet Ashurbanipal used his victories to bring to Nineveh the wealth of foreign tribute which made the city the centre of the world and to beautify its palaces with gardens and libraries. The king’s renown as a scholar and a diplomat rivalled his image as a warrior. Book online at www.martinrandall.com

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In 612 BC, shortly after Ashurbanipal’s sudden death, Nineveh was destroyed by the combined forces of the Medes and the Babylonians and its ruins were lost to history. In the 1840s their rediscovery opened up again the lost world of Ashurbanipal. The day is spent at the British Museum viewing its unrivalled collection of Assyrian antiquities and culminates with a visit to the Ashurbanipal exhibition. The lecturer is Professor Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, expert on the history and cultures of the ancient Near East. Start: 10.15am, British Museum. Finish: c. 5.15pm. Price: £215. This includes lunch and morning and mid-afternoon refreshments and entrance to the exhibition. Group size: maximum 14 participants. Combine the February day with: The Golden Age of British Painting, Thursday 7 February..

Image: Discovery of Nimrud Frederick Charles Cooper (1810 – 1880), Nimrud, mid-19th century, watercolour on paper © The Trustees of the British Museum.

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The Golden Age of British Painting Hogarth to the Pre-Raphaelites

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Image: ‘The Honourable Mrs Graham’, engraving after Thomas Gainsborough.

Thursday 7 February 2019 (lf 426) Wednesday 20 March 2019 (lf 451) Tuesday 19 November 2019 (lf 903) Tuesday 3 December 2019 (lf 924) Lecturer: Patrick Bade The Reformation dealt a deadly blow to the visual arts in Britain by removing ecclesiastical patronage and severing access to sources of new artistic trends in continental Europe. The aristocracy avidly collected the work of dead foreign artists but failed to nurture living British artists. During the early eighteenth century debate abounded around the relationship between British artists and their contemporaries and forerunners across the Channel. Hogarth represented truculent insularity, whilst Reynolds stood for a stance of patrician internationalism and a hope that influence could flow in both directions. However, both artists were united in their longing to establish a native school of painting that could rival the great Continental schools. They succeeded, and between 1730 and 1850 English painting was unsurpassed in its richness and diversity with a list of great names that includes Stubbs, Joseph Wright of Derby, Blake, Constable, Turner, Samuel Palmer and the PreRaphaelite brotherhood. Not to mention the Scottish contingent of Allan Ramsay and Henry Raeburn or the Irish James Barry and the Welsh Richard Wilson. Stylistically the day moves from the Rococo, through Neo-Classicism and Romanticism, to the meticulous truth to nature of the early Pre-Raphaelites. The day’s four sessions, three at Tate Britain and one at the National Gallery, offer a survey and exploration of this fascinating and rewarding period of British painting. The day takes in a selection of the greatest masterpieces of English painting in the collections at the National Gallery and Tate Britain. Start: 10.15am, at the National Gallery. Finish: c. 5.30pm, at Tate Britain. Price: £205. This includes lunch, refreshments, one taxi journey and donations to the galleries. Group size: maximum 14 participants. Combine the February departure with: Age of Victoria - a weekend symposium in Taunton 8-11 February. Combine the March departure with: The Italian Renaissance, Tuesday 19 March.

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Ancient Egypt at the British Museum Belief & society

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Friday 29 March 2019 (lf 458) Friday 20 September 2019 (lf 737) Friday 22 November 2019 (lf 905) Lecturer: Lucia Gahlin

Fragment of a wall painting from ‘Egyptian Pictures’ by Revd Samuel Manning c. 1875.

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Ancient Egypt is perhaps best known for its mummies and pharaonic splendour, its monumental architecture and colossal statuary. One of the world’s most important collections of these antiquities is housed in London, at the British Museum. Its display of pharaonic might is second to none – Ramesses II casts his eyes downwards, a gaze which inspired Shelley’s ‘Ozymandias’. The tours of the Egyptian galleries during this late-afternoon visit focus on the beliefs and lives of the ordinary people. The itinerary takes advantage of the lesscrowded Friday ‘late’ at the British Museum and starts by exploring the formation of the Egyptian state around 3100 BC, and the changes this brought to the ancient people living in the Nile Valley. The material culture of this early period in Egypt’s history helps us understand the cultural, technological and political developments which changed Egypt forever; the social history of the Ancient Egyptian people, the transition from chiefdoms to a country united under one ruler.

to wander between the statues of pharaohs and gods. Here is a treasure-trove of evidence for private religion and daily life, lesser-known aspects of the ancient Egyptian civilisation. And in the Nebamun gallery fragments of painted plaster from the tomb of the 15th Century BC temple accountant, as fine as any known examples of ancient Egyptian art, are found displayed alongside an array of objects of daily use. Art and artifacts complement each other to create the fullest picture of ancient Egyptian society. Sessions are interspersed with refreshments in the Great Court restaurant. Start: 3.15pm at the British Museum. Finish: c. 8.15pm at the British Museum. Price: £190. This includes afternoon refreshments, a light supper (1-course with wine) and a donation to the museum. Group size: maximum 14 participants.

Time is spent in the Egyptian Sculpture Gallery,

Image: experimental first trip on the Underground, wood engraving c. 1880.

London’s Underground Railway A History & Appreciation of the Tube government came towards the end of the process, not in advance.

Friday 15 February 2019 (lf 407) Tuesday 9 April 2019 (lf 486) Tuesday 3 September 2019 (lf 692) Wednesday 27 November 2019 (lf 910) Lecturer: Andrew Martin Shanghai has more track, Paris and New York have more stations, but London has by a clear margin the oldest urban underground railway in the world: 2013 was its 150th anniversary. It is also by far the most complicated, having started messily as several independent and often competing enterprises; contrary to sensible practice, strategic planning by unitary municipal

Modern London was shaped by the Tube rather than vice versa. Motivation and management has been various: commercial and philanthropic, entrepreneurial and Keynesian, expansionist and defeatist. The first ‘cut and cover’ lines, in trenches under existing roads, were vigorously promoted by a socialistic solicitor. The ‘deep level’ tube lines were pushed through by a maverick American, while the suburban extensions between the wars fulfilled the utopian ideals of a dour Yorkshireman who came bitterly to regret the urban sprawl they spawned. Now, after decades of relative neglect, investment and improvement are on an unprecedented scale. The day is led by Andrew Martin, journalist, novelist, historian and author of Underground Overground: a Passenger’s History of the Tube (2012). During the 1990s he was ‘Tube Talk’ columnist for the Evening Standard. He stresses that his approach will not be drily academic or technical but anecdotal and affectionate, highlighting the human stories, the architecture and design, the overlooked detail and the downright odd. Among the places and themes examined are the first ever stations, still in use and little changed;

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the even earlier Brunel tunnel under the Thames, mother of all modern tunnels, opened 1841; the subtle beauties of Leslie Green’s tiled stations of the early 20th century and the revered modernist architecture of the 1930s; and the architectural bravura of the 1990s Jubilee Line Extension. The day is not all spent below ground, and by special arrangement there is a visit to London Transport’s historic headquarters at 55 Broadway. Start: 9.00am at Baker Street Station. Finish: c. 5.00pm at Southwark (a short walk to Waterloo station). Fitness: participants need to be able to cope with busy trains and a considerable time on foot; standing or walking. There are a lot of station steps as well as a flight of 100 which are steep and narrow within 55 Broadway. Price: £215. This includes all Tube travel, lunch and refreshments. Group size: maximum 15 participants. Combine the February day with: The Golden Age of Dutch Painting, Thursday 14 February. Combine the April day with: Interwar Interiors Monday 8 April.

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The Golden Age of Dutch Painting at the National Gallery

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Image: ‘The Tavern Garden’, etching c. 1890 after a painting by Jan Steen (1626–1679).

Thursday 14 February 2019 (lf 425) Lecturer: Dr Helen Langdon In the 17th-century the northern Netherlands, newly independent of Spanish rule and enriched by colonial territories, enjoyed an extraordinary flourishing of the arts. A new, broadly middle class, public of merchants, wealthy industrialists, and city officials, wished to display their wealth, and for this new market artists created an unprecedented variety of subjects. The first session addresses the waning dominance of Italian art, contrasting the exotic artificiality of Mannerist artists, with the new and powerful naturalism of the Dutch followers of Caravaggio. The subsequent three sessions focus on portraiture, and the new specialisations of Dutch artists, in genre, landscape, townscape, still life and flower painting. The National Gallery has one of the richest collections of Dutch art outside the Netherlands, and the day looks at on some outstanding and singular works; among them Rembrandt’s late Self Portrait; Hobbema’s Avenue at Middelharnis; a small room of exquisite flower paintings; an unusual group of domestic scenes by Vermeer and De Hooch which cover their full range and power. Dutch art looks realistic, but the day raises questions as to how truthful it was; what was the role of specialisation; how closely it related to popular culture, popular sayings, proverbs, and theatre. Helen Langdon is one of MRT’s most admired lecturers. Start: 10.15am, National Gallery, Getty Entrance. Finish: 5.15pm, National Gallery. Price: £205. This includes a donation to the gallery, lunch and mid-morning and midafternoon refreshments. Group size: maximum 14 participants. Combine the day with: London's Underground Railway, Friday 15 February.

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Image: The National Gallery, London

The Italian Renaissance at the National Gallery

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Friday 22 February 2019 (lf 408) Thursday 5 December 2019 (lf 355) Lecturer: Dr Antonia Whitley Tuesday 19 March 2019 (lf 452) Tuesday 12 November 2019 (lf 886) Lecturer: Dr Michael Douglas-Scott London’s National Gallery possesses the finest collection of Italian Renaissance paintings outside Italy. Unlike most other national collections in Europe, it was formed (over nearly 200 years) by connoisseurs and art historians rather than princes and nobles whose less discerning eyes allowed the admission of a proportion of second- and third-raters. There’s no dross on show in Trafalgar Square. There are four sessions in the galleries of approximately an hour each. While most paintings commissioned then were of a religious nature, the call for portraits and mythologies speak of the burgeoning humanistic interests of patrons. Meaning, context, scale and innovation and what it was that marked out images by the great masters in this period will all be considered. Between the sessions there are leisurely adjournments for refreshments. With no more than fourteen in the group, radio

guides to eliminate problems of audibility, and the presence of an MRT staffer to oversee the arrangements, this should be a highly agreeable and efficacious way to enhance your knowledge and appreciation of Renaissance painting. Start: 10.15am, National Gallery, Sainsbury Wing. Finish: 5.15pm, National Gallery. Price: £205. This includes lunch, mid-morning and mid-afternoon refreshments. Group size: maximum 14 participants. Combine the March day with: The Golden Age of British Painting, 20 March Combine the November day with: Opera in Southern Sicily, 5-11 November. Combine the December day with: Caravaggio and Rembrandt, 4 December.

Image: Japanese warrior fromLe Tour du Monde1866

Japanese Art in London at the V&A and the British Museum

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Wednesday 6 March 2019 (lf 438) Monday 4 November 2019 (lf 874) Lecturer: Dr Monika Hinkel The day begins at the V&A which holds one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of Japanese works of art and design. Highlights of The Toshiba Gallery of Japanese Art are the diverse objects of the Edo period (16151868), including arms and armour, kimono, lacquerware, tea ceramics and woodblock prints as well as artefacts and crafts dating from the Meiji era (1868-1912).

Finish: c.5.30pm, British Museum Price: £195 in 2018 and £205 in 2019. This includes mid-morning refreshments and lunch in the William Morris room at the V&A, midafternoon refreshments at the Great Court Restaurant, donations, and one tube journey. Fitness: There is one tube journey as well as some walking and standing. Group size: maximum 14 participants.

The visit to the British Museum explores the recently refurbished and reopened Mitsubishi Corporation Japanese Galleries. Japanese art has formed an integral part of the collection at the British Museum since its founding in 1753. Objects are studied dating from Ancient Japan to the Modern period, showcasing the outstanding craftsmanship and artistic creativity of the arts of courtiers, samurai and townspeople. The day is led by Dr Monika Hinkel, lecturer of Japanese art and specialist in Japanese woodblock prints. Start: 10.15am, V&A museum. Book online at www.martinrandall.com

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The Arts of India At the British Museum & V&A

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Image: Shah Jahan receiving his son, 20th-century miniature painting after a 18th-century original.

Monday 11 March 2019 (lf 445) Lecturer: Rosemary Crill If asked to name the London museum best endowed with the finest Indian art, one would be hard-put to choose between the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The question is rhetorical, of course; their respective collections have a different focus and different strengths. Both institutions provide the ideal playground to discover, explore and appreciate the arts of the Indian subcontinent. The morning at the British Museum is devoted mainly to the sacred and looks at the origins of the religious impulse and the growth of religious art. Expressed chiefly in sculpture, it begins with the sealings of the Indus Valley-Saraswati civilisation and continues through fertility cults and ritual objects to the rise of Buddhism and Jainism and the development of classical Hinduism. The magnificent Amaravati ‘marbles’ in the Asahi Shimbun Gallery provide the culmination.

The afternoon’s main theme is more secular. The visit to the Nehru Gallery in the V&A focuses first on the riches of the Mughal empire, with some of the world’s greatest Indian miniature paintings and jade carvings. After tea, the focus is on the interaction between India and Britain in the wake of the granting of the East India Company’s charter in 1600. Trade, empire and the ensuing impact of India on Britain, especially in its interiors and dress, are all discussed. Finally, the process is reversed by exploring, through painting and decorative arts, the impact of Britain on India, especially in so-called ‘Company painting’ and the superb objects made in the last surge of patronage in the 19th century.

Start: 10.15am at the British Museum. Finish: 5.30pm at the V&A. Price: £205. This includes lunch, morning and afternoon refreshments, one tube journey and museum donations. Fitness: travel is by Underground which can be busy and there is some walking and standing during the day. Group Size: maximum 14 participants. Combine the March day with: Spanish Art in London, Tuesday 12 March.

There are two one-hour sessions at both museums, with a refreshment break between each session.

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Image: Diego Velázquez, engraving c. 1830.

Spanish Art in London At Apsley House, Wallace Collection and National Gallery Tuesday 12 March 2019 (lf 447) Lecturer: Gail Turner In 1848 the great pioneer in the study of Spanish art, Sir William Stirling Maxwell, declared that ‘the private collections of England could probably furnish forth a gallery of Spanish pictures second only to that of the Queen of Spain’. A great many of these pictures have since entered public collections throughout the country, making Great Britain one of the best places outside Spain to study Spanish art. Initially, it was the Peninsular War of 18081814 that broke the floodgates and provided a new market for Spanish art, and many more paintings were to leave Spain when the Spanish monasteries were dissolved in 1832. One such private collection is the 1st Duke of Wellington’s at Apsley House. Displayed inside this aristocratic townhouse are numerous paintings taken from Madrid’s Royal Palace by Joseph Bonaparte during the Peninsular War and later given to Wellington by King Ferdinand of Spain.

Later start

The National Gallery owns 9 paintings by Velázquez that span his career, from his early beginnings in Seville to his courtly paintings for Philip IV in Madrid. Alongside Velázquez hang some of Murillo’s finest paintings including several large canvases that originally decorated the altars of Seville’s monasteries and convents. The National Gallery also prides itself on a small group of works by El Greco, an artist who became fashionable in the early 20th century, principally thanks to the art critic Roger Fry who compared the abstract quality of his work with Cézanne. Start: 10.15am at Apsley House. Finish: c. 5.30pm at the National Gallery. Price: £215. This includes lunch, refreshments, donations to the galleries and taxis. Fitness: travel is by taxi, but you are on your feet throughout the day while looking and listening. Group size: maximum 14 participants. Combine the March day with: Ancient Greece in the British Museum, Wednesday 13 March.

The Wallace Collection includes Velázquez’s mesmerizing portrait of a Lady with a Fan as well as a rare work by the Sevillian artist, Alonso Cano, who was known as the ‘Michelangelo of Spain’.

Image: Persepolis, Sphinx in the second portal, wood engraving c. 1880.

Roses and Nightingales Persianate art at the V&A and British Museum Thursday 21 March 2019 (lf 453) Lecturer: Professor Lloyd LlewellynJones The art of Iran is an eclectic mix of styles and motifs drawn from different encounters with foreign peoples but fused together to produce a distinctive and harmonious look which is distinctly - and wonderfully - Persian. Persia, or modern-day Iran, lies at the heart of world civilisations. Its strategic position on the world map helps explain its importance as a conduit through which world cultures have passed and as a hub of civilisation which has had a profound influence upon all societies it has encountered. The Persians under the Achaemenid dynasty (559–331bc) were the first people to create a world-empire, the largest and most influential before Alexander. Encompassing twenty-three disparate lands and peoples, from Libya to India and from southern Russia to the Indian Ocean, it held together for 230 years. Exceptionally for the ancient world, it was built on the principles of tolerance and harmony.

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a profound effect upon the Byzantine culture of the Christian world. The coming of Islam to Iran through the Arab invasion saw a hiatus in the spread of Persian culture, but ultimately even the Arabs were ‘Persianized.’ This day gives the opportunity to become familiar with objects of supreme historical and cultural significance. The V&A and British Museum hold rich and important collections of Persian artefacts which between them tell the story of Iran from its ancient past to its vibrant present. Start: 10.15am, British Museum Finish: c. 4.30pm, V&A Price: £205. This includes lunch, midmorning and mid-afternoon refreshments, one Underground journey and donations to the museums. Group size: maximum 14 participants Combine the day with: The Golden Age of British Painting, Wednesday 20 March.

Under the Sasanian shahs (224–651ad), Persia went head to head in a power struggle with Rome and it was in this era that Iranian culture spread into the west, ultimately having Book online at www.martinrandall.com

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Bulletin 6, 2018

Arts & Crafts Art, architecture and decoration from Bexleyheath to Chiswick Monday 25 March 2019 (lf 454) Tuesday 9 July 2019 (lf 618) Tuesday 24 September 2019 (lf 747) Lecturer: Paul Atterbury For a long while Arts & Crafts was the acceptable face of Victorian art. Sales of William Morris wallpaper boomed while many major Victorian buildings succumbed to the wrecker’s ball. Fortunately, loathing of all things Victorian has now largely evaporated, but creations which fit into the Arts & Crafts category – not so much a style as a basket of ideas and attitudes – still stand out as exceptionally appealing and intriguing. The day provides a splendid survey of this dissident and even subversive phenomenon, with excellent examples in many media. It begins with the 1859 Red House at Bexleyheath – as did the movement – designed by Philip Webb for the Morris family. Other places seen, inter alia, are a Chelsea church (Holy Trinity Sloane Street), a dining room in South Kensington (in the V&A, for which it was made)

and a Hammersmith home (Emery Walker’s). For its instigators, the movement was as much about politics and economics as a matter of aesthetic preference. They championed craftsmanship and craftsmen and excoriated industrialisation and machine-made artefacts; most added a dollop of Utopian socialism though with varying degrees of commitment. A.W. Pugin was the precursor, Ruskin its prophet and Morris the high priest. Arts & Crafts emancipated the designer to the status of artist, strove to give everyone access to beauty and, despite a persistent and rose-tinted view of the Middle Ages, achieved liberation from historic styles while incorporating exotic influences. Along the way it entwined with Art Nouveau, held hands with the Aesthetic Movement and, according to a view which superficially seems perverse, gave birth to international modernism.

Price: £240 This includes transport by coach and tube, lunch at the V&A, morning and afternoon refreshments. Fitness: Travel is by private coach but there is some standing and walking and tube journeys across central London. Group size: maximum 15 participants. Combine the July day with: Interwar Interiors Monday 8 July 2019. Combine the September day with: Sacred Music in Santiago 26 September - 2 October 2019.

Start: 9.00am, at Tower Place East, London EC3. Finish: c. 6.00pm, Turnham Green Station, (District line).

Great Railway Termini Paddington, King’s Cross and St Pancras stations

Wednesday 22 May 2019 (lf 548) Wednesday 13 November 2019 (lf 898) Lecturer: Anthony Lambert Two eyebrow-raising assertions: the railways were a Georgian invention, all the ingredients being in place before 1830; and the twenty-first century is witnessing a golden age of rail travel. The first is indisputable fact, if surprising to contemplate; the second is likely to provoke an unprintable retort from many a daily commuter. However, few would quibble with a statement that the greatest achievements of railway architecture and engineering are Victorian. But seeing and appreciating magnificent stations such as those studied today is to a large extent possible because of enlightened intervention in the last ten or twenty years. The adaptation and upgrading of ageing infrastructure to meet modern requirements has been a major achievement, but so has the restoration and cleaning of historic fabric. And the sensitive addition of new structures of the highest quality of design has been a triumph. Largely the creation of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Paddington is well preserved and in some ways the most appealing of London’s termini. King’s Cross has always been admired for the majesty of its unadorned functionality,

but recent removal of twentieth-century clutter enables it to be better appreciated than for a century. And in 2012 the station acquired a magnificent new lattice steel foyer, the widest span in Europe apparently.

Image: St Pancras Station, wood engraving (detail) c. 1880.

Wednesday 27 March 2019 (lf 457) Wednesday 9 October 2019 (lf 783) Lecturer: Dr Steven Brindle

The 240 ft span of the St Pancras train shed far surpassed any previous structure in the world and its conversion for use as the Eurostar terminus, completed 2007, created one of the most exciting sets of public spaces in Europe. The contiguous Midland Grand Hotel by Sir George Gilbert Scott is perhaps the best-known of all Victorian buildings. Start: 9.30am at Paddington Station. Finish: c. 4.45pm at St Pancras Station. Price: £205 This includes morning and afternoon refreshments, lunch, one journey by underground and special arrangements. Group size: maximum 16 participants. Combine the March departure with: Arts and Crafts Monday 25 March 2019. Combine the October departure with: Interwar Interiors Tuesday 8 October 2019. Combine the November departure with: The Italian Renaissance Tuesday 12 November 2019 or Islamic art in London Friday 15 November 2019.

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The Ever-Changing City Skyline Wren’s Cathedral to Rees’s Towers

For twenty-eight years Peter Rees was the City of London’s chief planning officer, and since 2014 has been Professor of Places and City Planning at University College London. Charismatic, articulate and passionate about planning, he has done more to shape the City’s current appearance than any other single individual, and this is an exceptional opportunity to hear his story and to understand how and why London looks as it does. Starting at St Paul’s, we see some of the planning challenges posed by the ‘reframing’ of the Cathedral over the last decades. Paternoster Square was redeveloped following a tortuous process of consultation, royal intervention and redesign. After a visit to the roof-top space at Jean Nouvel’s 1 New Change, there is a surreptitious stroll through The Royal Exchange, the City’s centre of gossip, and an exploration of the hidden alleyways between Cornhill and Lombard Street. Here banking was born, and City pubs still fulfil a vital business role.

Later start

From the mid-1980s, and boosted by the ‘Big Bang’, the Square Mile became larger, swallowing parts of neighbouring boroughs. Broadgate is a fine example of a late 20thcentury business quarter with ground-scraper buildings accommodating large dealing floors for international banks and fine publicly-accessible spaces providing the social opportunities which are conducive to business activity. Only 25 years later, the development is being refurbished and some buildings replaced.

Start: 10.30am, St Paul’s tube station. Finish: c. 7.00pm, The Walkie-Talkie, 20 Fenchurch Street EC3. Price: £220. This includes lunch, refreshments and one taxi journey. Fitness: most of the day is spent outside and on foot, both standing and walking. Group size: maximum 18 participants.

Having grown outwards in the 80s and 90s, the City is now growing upwards, with a cluster of office towers sited to maximise their proximity to an abundance of public transport while minimising their impact upon the London skyline. A Gherkin sits alongside a CheeseGrater, and the Walkie-Talkie provides a high-level opportunity to contemplate the everchanging City below.

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Image: London Skyline as seen from the Tate Modern Viewing Platform. Photo by MRT Staff Rosanna Reade

Tuesday 2 April 2019 (lf 483) Tuesday 2 July 2019 (lf 611) Lecturer: Professor Peter Rees CBE

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Bulletin 6, 2018

Interwar Interiors Modernist, Traditional, & Art Deco

There were only twenty years between the First and the Second World Wars, and several of those were blighted by post-war scarcity and financial calamity. And then came the Blitz, followed by decades of indifference and demolition. Nevertheless, some fine examples of architecture and interior design of the time survive, of which perhaps the most striking feature is the great variety of styles employed. Art Deco is commonly seen as the defining style of the time, though fully-fledged schemes were rare. The day starts with the most extensive to survive, the Courtauld mansion at Eltham Palace, which has been progressively restored and opened up in recent years. The Edwardian and New Georgian era saw a surge of rebuilding in London but events intervened, and many buildings completed in the 1920s were designed before the 1914–18 War. So Traditionalism was the norm, Classical to varying degrees, though one extraordinary set of interiors is Tudor in style.

Other visits include two of the great early twentieth century department stores Liberty’s and Simpsons (now Waterstones), Piccadilly Underground Station and the 1930s interior of the old Regent Palace Hotel sensitively restored by Dixon Jones and Donald Insall Associates where the day breaks for lunch.

Image: Eltham Palace

Monday 8 April 2019 (lf 484) Monday 8 July 2019 (lf 617) Tuesday 8 October 2019 (lf 784) Lecturer: Paul Atterbury

The day ends with the Art Deco interiors of the Park Lane Hotel and tea in the Palm Court. Start: 8.50am, at Victoria mainline station. Finish: c. 5.30pm, at the Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly. Price: £220. This includes lunch, refreshments, travel by train and taxi, an admission charge and donations. Fitness: participants need to be able to cope with busy trains and a considerable time on foot; standing or walking. Group size: maximum 18 participants. Combine the April day with: London's Underground Railway, Tuesday 9 April 2019. Combine the July day with: Arts and Crafts, Tuesday 9 July 2019, also led by Paul Atterbury.

Wellington in London with private access to Apsley House Start: 10.50am, National Gallery.

Wellington loathed the hero-worship to which he was subjected after Waterloo, but ample rewards and memorials were awarded by a grateful nation – with justice, for arguably he was Britain’s greatest general, and more than anyone else was responsible for terminating Napoleonic tyranny. Opinion concerning his political career remains divided, but there is no doubt he possessed integrity and good sense. He was not deficient in the sensibility department either.

Fitness: Although one journey is made by taxi, the rest of the day is on foot, both walking and standing.

Both history and art history, this day studies Wellington’s achievements, his personality and his life and times. It is led by Josephine Oxley, curator of Apsley House, the London home of the first Duke and his successors to the present. With its spectacular art collection, it remains the finest private house in the city and the day ends with a special out-of-hours visit here.

Image: The Duke of Wellington, engraving

Monday 15 April 2019 (lf 489) Monday 16 September 2019 (lf 718) Lecturer: Josephine Oxley

Finish: c. 5.00pm, Apsley House, Hyde Park Corner.

Price: £225. This includes all admission charges and special arrangements, afternoon refreshments, lunch and one journey by taxi. Group size: maximum 18 participants. Combine the April day with: The London Backstreet Walk, Wednesday 17 April 2019. Combine the September day with: The London Squares Walk, Saturday 14 September 2019.

Nearby are two memorial statues and the Wellington Arch, location of an English Heritage exhibition on Waterloo. The National Gallery, Guards Museum and Household Cavalry Museum are also visited during the course of the day and further illuminate Wellington’s life.

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Bulletin 6, 2018

The London Backstreet Walk From Hyde Park to The Tower Image: Lincoln’s Inn, watercolour. c. 1910.

This walk is predicated on two beliefs. The first, platitudinous if rarely put to the test, is that the centre of London is not so large that people of ordinary fitness couldn’t walk everywhere. The second would perhaps be greeted in some quarters with scepticism: that one can traverse the capital from Hyde Park Corner to the Tower of London without walking along main roads for more than a couple of hundred yards in total. This is London seen from parks, gardens, alleys, backstreets and pedestrian zones. As the crow flies, it is exactly 3⅓ miles, but as avoiding traffic requires some circuitous deviations the distance walked is 8 or 9 miles.

Wednesday 17 April 2019 (lf 488) Lecturer: Dr Geoffrey Tyack Friday 10 May 2019 (lf 521) Wednesday 4 September 2019 (lf 693) Lecturer: Sophie Campbell Tuesday 18 June 2019 (lf 583) Lecturer: Martin Randall Wednesday 2 October 2019 (lf 773) Lecturer: Barnaby Rogerson

The route – which is far from obvious, as may be understood – is laced with delights and surprises. Many famous buildings are passed or glimpsed, but largely the interest lies in unexpected clusters of pre-20th-century architecture, picturesque vistas and intriguing alleys, patches of parkland and well-tended gardens, recent architectural behemoths and medieval street patterns. Some special arrangements have been made to enter a few buildings en route. Champagne at the Savoy and lunch in the grandest Elizabethan hall in England are among the treats. But the main point of the day is to provide the satisfaction of accomplishing a unique and fascinating journey through the heart of the most vibrant, varied and fascinating city in Europe.

Start: 9.00am, Hyde Park Corner, Wellington Arch. Finish: c. 5.40pm at Tower Hill Station. Price: £215. This includes refreshments and lunch, admission charges and donations. Fitness: This is a serious hike, so please don’t attempt it unless you are able to walk at about 3 mph for at least an hour at a time and have the stamina for 9 miles (though there are 4 refreshment breaks). The terrain is fairly flat but there are steps (one flight has 57). Stout shoes are of course advisable – but no trainers please: they are specifically forbidden at the lunch venue. Group size: maximum 18 participants. Combine the May day with: The Johann Sebastian Bach Journey, 13-19 May 2019. Combine the June day with: Hawksmoor, Thursday 20 June 2019. Combine the September day with: London’s Underground Railway, Tuesday 3 September 2019.

Image: St George's Bloomsbury

Hawksmoor The six London churches Tuesday 30 April 2019 (lf 497) Thursday 20 June 2019 (lf 594) Thursday 19 September 2019 (lf 728) Lecturer: Owen Hopkins Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661–1736) dropped from public consciousness while Wren and Vanbrugh did not. In so far as he was known before the 20th century he was reviled for just those qualities which lead to passionate attachment to his creations now – boldness, massiveness, Baroque vigour, dissident classicism and sculptural imagination. Yet he is probably an even greater architect than his documented buildings show; it is highly likely that he is the author of some of the finer parts of buildings long attributed to others. He was Wren’s assistant for over twenty years, and also collaborated with Vanbrugh. The Baroque flowering of Wren’s late works should probably be ascribed to Hawksmoor, while his professionalism and artistry were key to turning the soldier-playwright into a great architect. Taken together, his greatest achievement remains the six London churches built in accordance with the 1711 Act of Parliament. Book online at www.martinrandall.com

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This specified fifty new churches; only twelve were built, not least because Hawksmoor’s extravagant ambition absorbed an undue proportion of the funds. Remarkably, they all survive, though one is a (well-preserved) shell after the Blitz. The journey by coach takes in St George’s Bloomsbury, St Mary Woolnoth, Christ Church Spitalfields, St George-in-theEast Stepney, St Anne’s Limehouse and St Alfege Greenwich. Thomas Archer’s contemporaneous St Paul’s Deptford is also included. Start: 9.20am, Holborn tube station. Finish: c. 5.20pm, Greenwich; the ferry to Tower Hill, Embankment and Westminster (c. 35 minutes) is recommended. Price: £225. This includes travel by coach & ferry, lunch, refreshments and donations to the churches. Group size: maximum 20 participants. Combine the June day with: Great Houses of the North 21-30 June 2019. Combine the September day with: Ancient Egypt at the British Museum Friday 20 September 2019 Te l e p h o n e 0 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5


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Hampstead in the 1930s A walking tour and visits Image: ©Isokon Building, Hampstead, London

Wednesday 1 May 2019 (lf 517) Wednesday 11 September 2019 (lf 696) Lecturer: Monica Bohm-Duchen As the abundance of wall plaques in the area demonstrates, visual artists have been drawn to the physical and cultural attractions of Hampstead since the late eighteenth century. This London day, however, concentrates on artistic life in Hampstead in the 1930s, the period in which it occupied a unique place in the story of British art and architecture. This was in large measure due to the number of talented émigrés from Nazi-dominated Europe who found refuge here, and the British individuals who welcomed and worked alongside them. A private view of selected items from the era at Hampstead museum’s collection at Burgh House, and an introductory lecture, set the scene. It was during the 1930s that such residents as Paul Nash, Roland Penrose and Henry Moore made the area the hub of avantgarde activities in the UK. Both the abstract and surrealist camps were well represented and modernist architects Wells Coates and Maxwell Fry also lived here during this period. A walk through Frognal is testament to their influence and work, and there is a visit to Hungarian-born Erno Goldfinger’s pioneering home at nearby 2 Willow Road. By special arrangement, we visit the former garage of the Isokon building in Lawn Road which has been converted into a small gallery devoted to the colourful history of these flats whose tenants included Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer, as well as Agatha Christie and a significant number of Communist spies. The Mall Studios were home to what Herbert Read described as a ‘gentle nest of artists’, among them Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson. For a brief but significant spell, Piet Mondrian lived just around the corner.

Start: 10.00am at Hampstead Underground Station. Finish: c. 5.30pm in central Hampstead just a short walk from Hampstead Underground Station. Price: £215. This includes morning and afternoon refreshments, lunch, admission charges and donations, one taxi journey. Fitness: there is a fair amount of walking on steep streets and you are on your feet most of the day at the sites visited. Group size: maximum 14 participants. Combine the May day with: Hawksmoor, 30 April 2019 Combine the September day with: Seven Churches & a Synagogue, 12 September 2019

The day is led by lecturer, writer and curator specialising in 20th century art, Monica Bohm-Duchen who was born in Hampstead and has lived there most of her life.

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Bulletin 6, 2018

The Tudors Hampton Court, tombs & portraits Image: Hampton Court, Ann Boleyn’s Gateway, watercolour by E.W. Haslehurst, publ. c. 1910.

Tuesday 7 May 2019 (lf 513) Tuesday 10 September 2019 (lf 694) Lecturer: Dr Neil Younger Tudor architecture, culture and politics are studied through two of the finest buildings of the era, and Tudor people through the two best assemblies of images. The day begins at Westminster Abbey in the Henry VII Chapel, not only the most glorious ecclesiastical Tudor building but burial place of most of the Tudor monarchs. The theme of commemoration continues at the National Portrait Gallery, broadening to include courtiers. Hampton Court began as the country palace of Cardinal Wolsey, one of the richest and most powerful individuals in Europe, before being sequestered by Henry VIII. Partially rebuilt and extended for William and Mary, it nevertheless retains some outstanding 16th-century interiors and works of art – great hall, chapel, private apartments, kitchens, tapestries and paintings. The lecturer Dr Neil Younger is a specialist in Tudor politics, government and court culture. He is the author of War and Politics in the Elizabethan Counties and is currently working on a biography of the Elizabethan courtier Sir Christopher Hatton. Start: 9.25am, Westminster Abbey (west door). Finish: c. 6.30pm at Waterloo Station. Price: £215. This includes lunch, morning refreshments, admission charges and transport. Transport: taxis within London, return national rail between Waterloo Station and Hampton Court. Fitness: there are walks of up to 20 minutes between station and palace at Hampton Court, and a lot of standing in galleries and buildings. Group size: maximum 18 participants. Combine the May day with: Tudor England, 8-13 May 2019. Combine the September day with: Hampstead in the 1930s, Wednesday 11 September 2019.

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The London Squares Walk London’s greatest glory Saturday 14 September 2019 (lf 147) Lecturer: Martin Randall The basic form of London’s squares – rows of similar houses around a regular open space – is neither unique nor original to the city, but their sheer profusion is quite unparalleled elsewhere. Together with circuses, crescents and associated streets and mews, squares constitute London’s most distinctive and pleasing architectural characteristic. While the uniformity of the enclosing terraces provides much of the delight, equally engaging are the subtle differences between one house and its neighbours, or between one whole side and another. Many of the squares on this walk have ‘palace fronts’, terraces which were planned as if they were a single, very grand building, with architectural emphasis on the centre and ends. The squares selected for this walk are almost entirely intact and in an excellent state of preservation – one amazing feature of the London square phenomenon generally. Most of the pioneers in Bloomsbury and the West End have been much rebuilt; this itinerary gives priority to completeness, condition and beauty, resulting in a study of the final, triumphant phase from very late Georgian to fairly late Victorian. During this period there was unprecedented variety and architectural quality, and economics and aesthetics aligned to achieve

Saturday departure

cityscape as fine as anywhere in the world. Not the least pleasing feature is the planting in the middle of the square, forming mature and well-tended landscaped gardens. The seemingly anachronistic system of ownership of tracts of London by aristocratic or charitable estates serves very well for upkeep. Start: Belgrave Square, 9.45am (nearest tube: Hyde Park Corner). Finish: Gloucester Road Station, c. 5.30pm. Price: £190. This includes morning and afternoon refreshments and lunch. Group size: maximum 18 participants. Fitness: The distance covered is c. 5½ miles, but you are on your feet for most of the day while looking and listening. Please don’t attempt it unless you are able to walk at about 3 mph for at least an hour at a time. Combine the day with: The Cathedrals of England, 18-26 September 2019.

Caravaggio & Rembrandt A new naturalism

Few individuals have had such a revolutionary impact on the history of art as Caravaggio (1571–1610). His short life was violent and intermittently spent as a fugitive, but the impact of his artistic innovations was felt throughout Europe and through the whole course of the seventeenth century. The National Gallery has three paintings by Caravaggio (sometimes one is on loan elsewhere), but the emphasis of this day is on putting the artist and his achievements in his Italian context and on exploring his influence beyond the peninsula. Among the other artists studied, therefore, are Rubens, Velázquez, and, above all, Rembrandt (1606–1669). The NG has one of the best collections of Rembrandt paintings in the world – the Dutchman never fell from favour among collectors, in sharp contrast with Caravaggio, who was practically forgotten in the nineteenth century. But they shared much, principally exploitation of the expressive and naturalistic

Later start

potential of chiaroscuro (contrasting light and shade) to dramatic effect, and the use of humble models and realism rather than idealism to tell religious stories in a new and moving way.

Image: ‘Self-portrait with Saskia’ 1636, after Rembrandt.

Friday 8 November 2019 (lf 884) Wednesday 4 December 2019 (lf 925) Lecturer: Dr Helen Langdon

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Helen Langdon is author of what remains the best book on Caravaggio, and is one of MRT’s most admired lecturers. There are four sessions in the galleries of about an hour each. Start: 10.15am, National Gallery, Sainsbury Wing. Finish: 5.15pm. Price: £205. This includes lunch, mid-morning and mid-afternoon refreshments. Group size: maximum 14 participants. Combine the December day with: The Golden Age of British Painting, Tuesday 3 December.

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London Choral Day: Lambeth Palace & Westminster Friday 7 June 2019 (lf 566)

Price: from £215

Our London Choral Days put outstanding and exciting choral ensembles in some of the most beautiful buildings in the capital. They take the form of a day-long sequence of performances, talks, lunch and refreshments, the audience moving between the venues on foot. The days are conceived not as three discrete concerts but as an integrated, overarching musical experience in which the individual parts illumine and enlarge upon what has gone before. Usually there is some connection between the venues and the music performed in them, which may be chronological – music of the same period as the building – or associational: a specific historical link between music and building. After the great successes of Chelsea and Marylebone, the next London Choral Day begins in the shadow of Westminster Abbey and progresses across the river to Lambeth. Here, beside the Thames and enclosed within high brick walls, lies a clutch of highly important historic buildings: Lambeth Palace, residence, offices and library of the Archbishop of Canterbury. As both home and workplace, access is restricted; perhaps this is the least visited of London’s major architectural precincts, and we are grateful to have been accorded the privilege of presenting two concerts and a lecture in three different spaces within the complex.

St Margaret’s, Westminster Beginning life in the twelfth century as the parish church of Westminster, St Margaret’s stands on a site which once lay within the precincts of Westminster Abbey; the formidable bulk of the abbey church rises only a few yards to the south. One of the very few preReformation churches to survive in London, its current form dates largely to a rebuilding completed in 1523, though there have been frequent interventions for restoration and embellishment. The stained glass is of particular interest. The superb professional choir of St Margaret’s is one of the finest liturgical choirs in the country. Aidan Oliver, Director of Music at St Margaret’s since 2003, is one of the UK’s leading choral directors, working across the whole spectrum of symphonic, liturgical, operatic and contemporary music. Today’s programme juxtaposes works from the period following the church’s rebuilding in 1523, including Gibbons, Weelkes, Tomkins and Byrd. To this is added 20th-century and contemporary works showcasing the current vibrant musical tradition of St Margaret’s – Dove, Macmillan, Grier and others.

Lambeth Palace, the Chapel The beautiful chapel, Early Gothic in style, dates to c.1230, though a combination of Puritanism and World War Two bombing has necessitated fairly extensive (if sympathetic) restoration. Its small size requires the concert here to be repeated; the other half of the audience attends a talk in the Guard Room, which has a fourteenthcentury roof with braces of traceried timber. The Gesualdo Six comprises some of the UK’s finest young consort singers, most of whom cut their chorister teeth in the cathedral or college systems. Formed in 2014, they have rapidly established themselves as an exceptional ensemble, travelling widely abroad as well as in the UK. The director is Owain Park, who is also a prominent composer.

Lambeth Palace, Great Hall ‘Londoners and strangers do not usually appreciate the fact that London possesses in the palace a complex of domestic buildings largely medieval and wholly picturesque which is of the greatest interest and merit.’ This verdict remains as true today as when Nikolaus Pevsner wrote it seventy years ago. The magnificent Great Hall was rebuilt 1660–3, the style deliberately archaic to assert continuity after the turmoil of the Interregnum; it can plausibly be designated as the first instance of the Gothic Revival. Recently restored and emptied, this is a spectacular space for the final concert.

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The Choir of Royal Holloway, under their director Rupert Gough, is considered one of the finest mixed-voice collegiate choirs in the country. The 24 choral scholars undertake a busy schedule of services, concerts and tours and have recorded for Hyperion Records. Their programme includes early Tudor music from the Lambeth Choirbook, one of the palace’s greatest treasures, through to Tallis and Byrd and on to Blow and Purcell.

Practicalities Start: 11.30am at St Margaret’s Westminster. Doors open at 11.10am. Finish: c.5.50pm at Lambeth Palace. Walking: For those who do not choose the vehicular option, there are walks at a leisurely pace of, at most, 20 minutes (waiting at pedestrian crossings included). There is the option of signing up in advance for taxis to avoid the walks at a cost of £20 per person. Price: £215 (with taxis £235 with transport by taxi as specified above). This includes lunch and afternoon refreshments as well as exclusive admission to the three concerts and the lecture. Lunch and refreshments: Lunch in good restaurants; the audience is split between several. Refreshments are served in the afternoon between the concerts. Audience size: c. 100–160. Illustration: St Margaret's, Westminster after a drawing by G M Elmwood, publ. 1911 in 'Some London Churches'.

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London Days (Bulletin 6, 2018)  

Martin Randall Travel’s ‘London Days’ explore the art, architecture and history of the most varied and exciting city in the world, in the co...

London Days (Bulletin 6, 2018)  

Martin Randall Travel’s ‘London Days’ explore the art, architecture and history of the most varied and exciting city in the world, in the co...