RECORDED sessions online – 60 minutes each (full details on acceptance of booking)
Writers have long been fascinated by the world of paint and painters.
In this series we will look each week at the visual and material context of a different novel, comparing the writer’s creation with the reality of the age he deals with and the issues he considers.
It is not essential to read the book before the lecture but you may find that it adds to your enjoyment ‐ no plot spoilers will be revealed in the lecture! All texts exist in various formats and editions
“Thank you so much for enabling these lectures to happen on line. Not quite the same as being there but nevertheless still wonderful. I have enjoyed every minute of them and at least there is the consolation of being able to listen again and look at the images as many times as you like. It’s been lovely to have something so enjoyable to put in the structure of the week. To hear Nicole Mezey’s great expertise put across in such a clear and interesting fashion has been a real privilege and I have been able to join up my scattered bits of knowledge into a greatly expanded whole.”
A worldwide success and later a film, The Name of the Rose is a multi‐layered, complex, stimulating novel set against a background of the monastic world of the 1320’s. It is a time of crisis and change for monks, manuscripts and monasteries, a time of Church divisions and heresy, all of which we see reflected in the arts of the day.
The Flanders Panel centres on the restoration of, and investigation into, a mysterious painting ‐ a fictional painting but one which sits firmly in the world of Jan van Eyck and Flemish Renaissance art, allowing us to look closely at the creations and aims of that great age. (A knowledge of chess will enhance your reading of this even further!)
Structured as a mystery, a search for a lost picture, Headlong combines Frayn’s characteristic wit with a refined understanding of the life and context of Pieter Breughel the Elder. We follow the author in exploring art which, like his own, tells a powerful tale with lightness of touch.
Emile Zola was a core member of the Impressionist group and one of the few journalists to defend and apparently understand their work in the 1860’s and ’70’s. Later a famous novelist, he used the personalities, the issues and struggles to write L’Oeuvre, vividly evoking, in fictional form, his friends’ experiences.