Art Appreciation

Advertised Monday

Devizes Town Hall – AssemblyRooms

Doors Open 09:45 am for 10:30

Talks 10:30 to 12:15 – subs £3 payable at the door.

GROUP LEADER:  Jill & Ken Ross

Hello everyone!  The following covers the 4 meetings of the autumn term which will be the last that Ken & I will be leading, so we’re sending our programme out now to ensure that all of you are well informed and ahead of the game, and to ask please that you keep it safe! Obviously the information will also be in the next 2 Newsletters for the D&Du3a members, but this information will be especially helpful for those of you who come from other U3A area groups, and therefore do not receive the Newsletter, or indeed interested members of the public who browse our D&Du3a website to see what the groups have to offer. 

These dates were provisionally booked in March, and although our situation is looking more positive now and Covid restrictions have been relaxed, we cannot predict the future, so please be assured that the town hall staff will strictly adhere to the current government rules applying at the time, and I will of course keep you up to date with any changes that affect us.

Monday, 25th October – ‘Hans Holbein, Henry VIII’s German Painter’ Please note: this meeting will be transferred to the Ceres Hall, Corn Exchange, Devizes. We shall be back in the Assembly Rooms, Town Hall, Devizes for our November and December meetings as usual. 

This morning David talks about Holbein’s work as an artist in Germany (portraits & religious themes), continues with his first visit to England, (1526-28), his relationship with Sir Thomas Moore and as portraitist to the English elite. He then moves on to the impact of the English Reformation, Holbein’s 2nd visit to England, (1532-4), with emphasis on the Whitehall mural, portraits of a potential bride for the King, and finally, graphic works (‘The Ambassadors’) and sundry portraits of German merchants living in London.

Monday, 22nd November – Sarah Latham Phillips – ‘British Art of the First World War’

Sarah’s talk today is the sequel to the one she gave in October, 2020, where we were introduced to the prodigious talents of the Slade School students; today we are reintroduced to some of the school’s alumni including, Stanley Spencer, Paul Nash, C.R. Nevinson, David Bomberg, Dora Carrington and Mark Gertler as they embrace modernity and new ideas from Europe just on the cusp of the First World War. This lecture will place them in their historical and biological context and reflect on their involvement with the art of WW1, and how they made considerable impact on the British Art world of the twentieth century.

Monday,6th December – ‘Alcohol in Art’ is David’s appropriate topic for our Christmas Party talk this morning!

His starting point is the ambiguous nature of alcohol: e.g. in the classical world (Bacchus) as opposed to its symbolism in Christian worship (the Eucharist), and reminds us of its destructive and anarchic effects, all aspects of which are found in the Renaissance paintings of Michelangelo, Titian, Velazquez, Caravaggio & Rubens.  David then moves on to the 17th century where western artists were more concerned with the social and moral aspects (e.g. Steen, Hogarth) reaching a hysterical climax in the Victorian period. Alcohol was also objectively descriptive as depicted by Degas, Makovsky & Picasso.  But this is a Christmas party, so we end with pictures by Renoir & Kroyer of joyous folk revelling in seasonal cheer and bonhomie!  Just like us!!

Ken and I have enjoyed our 13 years as leaders, but now, aged 87 & 82 respectively, we’re well past our sell by date – time to go!  So it just remains for us to say a huge and grateful thank-you to all of you for supporting us and to all of you splendidly able members who have offered your time so willingly.  Art App simply could not have managed without you. 

Jill & Ken.


Photographs of Lecture during Covid-19 Restrictions taken by Peter Elson on Monday 28th September (Click on photograph to see whole photograph).

These photographs were taken by Peter Elson on 25th November 2019 on the visit to the National Portrait Gallery.


On 9th December 2019 at the December Meeting

Updated on 28-09-2021