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Lives of the Artists: The Old Stories


     Monday 6th November           Monday 13th November                Monday 20th November

                Velazquez                                 Antonio Canova                                  Rodin, Dante                       The Man and the Myth               The Nature of Beauty                      and the Gates of Hell  

Velazquez - Rokeby Venus_edited.jpg
Rodin. The Kiss_edited.jpg

 Velazquez. Rokeby Venus. 1647-51         Canova. The Three Graces. 1814                              Rodin. The Kiss. 1882


We are hard wired to remember stories, sometimes the ones we were told as children, fairy tales, ancient myths, historical legends, fables and fantasies. This series will look at the ‘old stories’ told and re-interpreted by three different artists, a painter, and two sculptors: Velázquez, Canova and Rodin.


The lectures will be 'live', via Zoom Webinar on consecutive Monday early evenings, at 6pm UK time. Each lecture lasts about 50 minutes, after which we will answer questions you can type in to the Zoom system.

Please note: The lectures will be recorded and available to view on demand for up to 6 days after the end of each lecture, so you can enjoy them no matter where in the world you are or what time of day suits you best. 

How to Sign Up

To participate in any one of the lectures or in the series of three lectures, simply click on the relevant 'Buy Now' button below, depending on whether you want to sign up for the full course of three lectures, for £36, or for individual lectures, at £15 each. You can also invite a friend to one lecture of your choosing, at a cost of £8.


Lives of the Artists: 'The Old Stories'. In these three lectures, Jacqueline will explore the art of story telling. She will consider why we remember works of art and why they mean something to us. By taking three very different artists from different periods and countries and working in different mediums, Diego Velazquez from Spain, Antonio Canova from Italy and Auguste Rodin from France, she will tell you how they related to stories which had been passed down through the ages. She will explore why they still remain as exciting and pertinent to our 21st Century lives. Each lecture stands alone but if you can follow all three you will find wonderful links.

                                                                          Course cost £36


Lecture 1: Velazquez: the Man and the Myth. Monday 6th November.

Velazquez’s extraordinary gift lay in his ability to humanise the Gods, to make them approachable for his viewer, to show us their weaknesses and draw parallels with all our lives. Bacchus inebriated, Apollo vindictive, Mars weakened, vain Venus, clever Arachne. This lecture will unravel some of the ancient myths and help us to understand Velazquez’s fascination with them.

                                                                        Lecture cost £15


Lecture 2: The Nature of Beauty: Antonio Canova. Monday 13th November.

When Pompeii and Herculaneum were re discovered in the eighteenth century, artists returned to the old stories and legends found in villas and on walls. Anxious to emulate the beauty of the Greeks and Romans they returned to the stories of Ovid and Homer to reinterpret them in a new Classical Style. The Venetian sculptor Antonio Canova, imagined Psyche, revived by Cupid’s kiss, Orpheus looking back to his beloved Eurydice, the 3 most beautiful Graces all carved in the whitest of marble. The flawless Nature of Beauty.

                                                                        Lecture cost £15

Lecture 3: Rodin, Dante and The Gates of Hell. Monday 20th November.

Rodin began working on the commission for The Gates of Hell in 1882 and they were not finished by the time he died in 1917. Taking inspiration from Dante’s extraordinary work of fiction, Rodin did wonderful drawings and then filled his magnificent doors with figures which would inspire his entire career. We will look at The Kiss and his other depictions of characters condemned to Hell for their crimes, and we will look back to the poem, one of the most important works of all time.

                                                                        Lecture cost £15

Invite a Friend

You can invite a friend to one lecture of your choosing, at half price. Click the Buy Now button to complete your purchase and we will e-mail you for contact details for your friend, and the name of the lecture you'd like to offer them.


                                                                           Cost £8

When we receive notification of your payment, we will also receive details of the e-mail address associated with your PayPal account, and will send you an e-mail acknowledging receipt within 3 days.


If you haven't used Zoom before, it's easy. The later e-mail we will send you, a day or so before the lecture is due to start, will include the Zoom Webinar link. On the date of the lecture you simply click on the link - approximately 5-10 minutes before the start time of 6pm UK time - and when Zoom Webinar opens you follow the on-screen instructions.


Finally, after each lecture finishes, we will send you a link to a recording of the lecture, which will be available to view for a further 6 days.

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See also Jacqueline's book,  ‘A Taste of Art: London’ (Unicorn Press 2019)

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