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Alison Meek
Andrew Spira
Dan Evans
Denise Heywood
Dr Antonia Whitley
Dr Michael Douglas-Scott
Dr. Marie-Anne Mancio
Dr. Richard Plant
Frederico Botana
Geoffrey Toms
Graham Fawcett
Harry Mount
Ian Cox
Jacqui Ansall
James McDonaugh
Jeremy Musson
Leslie Primo
Marie-Anne Mancio
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Nigel McGilchrist
Patrick Bade
Phillip Mansel
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Desire & Longing In Art

1 November 2020 - 30 November 2021

Recorded sessions – 90 minutes each

£59 – £499

Get tickets

RECORDED sessions online (full details on acceptance of booking)


Look across the centuries at how artists have explored the enduring themes of love, courtship, marriage and sexual desire.

“You have given me a new dimension to appreciating art”

Course Outline

Lecture 1 – It Started With A Kiss

Whether in work by Brancusi, Magritte, Rodin, Klimt, or in Alfred Eisenstaedt’s famous photograph of a sailor on V‐J Day in Times Square, the kiss is a powerful motif in art, but it isn’t always what it appears.

Lecture 2 – Flirting In Paint

Medieval texts, seventeenth century Dutch, French rococo, and even academic paintings such as Adolphe‐William Bouguereau’s The Proposal all explored the rituals of courtship.

Lecture 3 – The Marriage Feast

What do depictions of betrothals and weddings tell us about their respective societies? Through works such as Pieter Brueghel the younger’s Wedding Dance in A Barn, Laurits Tuxen’s A Royal Wedding, and John Lewis Krimmel’s The Country Wedding, discover a range of symbols.

Lecture 4 – Artistic Couples

Explore the dynamics of artist couples such as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera; Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe; Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock; Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin; Man Ray and Lee Miller;Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, and others.

Lecture 5 – Broken Vows ‐ Adultery And Its Consequences

Hogarth’s Marriage a la Mode, the paintings and pastels of Paula Rego (subject of a 2021 retrospective at Tate Britain), the Victorian mistresses depicted by Holman Hunt, Augustus Leopold Egg’s triptych Past and Present, all speculate on the darker side of marriage.

Lecture 6 – Les Grandes Horizontales And Other Fallen Women

In nineteenth century Paris, the top courtesans acquired mythical reputations and celebrity status. Discover how they inspired or commissioned artists, much like their predecessors in other eras.

Lecture 7 – Devouring Females

From Durer’s witches, Aubrey Beardsley’s femmes fatales (on display in an exhibition at Tate Britain in Spring 2020), to contemporary works by Alexis Hunter and others, female sexuality has often been portrayed as a dangerous force.

Lecture 8 -The Male Nude

Is a convincing language of desire for the male nude? Examine masterpieces like Michelangelo’s David, Thomas Eakins’ young men, Caillebotte’s bathers, and others.

Lecture 9 – Great Romances

Fictional lovers like Orpheus and EurydiceRomeo and JulietLancelot and GuinevereTristan and Isolde have all been represented in artworks which reveal as much about the artist’s era as the original story.

Lecture 10 – The Exotic ‘Other’

Whether in the harems of Ingres, Delacroix or Gérome, in Gauguin’s Tahiti women, or Mapplethorpe’s nudes, the black body has been made the subject of Western artists’ fantasies.


1 November 2020
November 30
£59 – £499
Courses Category:


RECORDED sessions online (full details on acceptance of booking)
United Kingdom


Dr. Marie-Anne Mancio


The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Full Course: Desire & Longing In Art
£ 499.00
Single Lecture: It Started With A Kiss
£ 59.00
Single Lecture: Flirting In Paint
£ 59.00
Single Lecture: The Marriage Feast
£ 59.00
Single Lecture: Artistic Couples
£ 59.00
Single Lecture: Broken Vows ‐ Adultery And Its Consequences
£ 59.00
Single Lecture: Les Grandes Horizontales And Other Fallen Women
£ 59.00
Single Lecture: Devouring Females
£ 59.00
Single Lecture: The Male Nude
£ 59.00
Single Lecture: Great Romances
£ 59.00
Single Lecture: The Exotic ‘Other’
£ 59.00

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