Lecture programme

PADFAS PROGRAMME 2018-2019

These illustrated lectures are delivered in English by leading European speakers, all experts in their fields.


Thursday 18th October 2018

14.00: ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

At the Théâtre du Ranelagh

15.00: REMBRANDT (1606-1669): BOHEMIAN OR BUSINESSMAN, ROMANTIC OR REBEL?

Rembrandt is considered to be Holland’s greatest artist but, unlike Van Gogh, has not left much written material explaining his views on art. His self-portraits are a unique autobiography and a thread, with other masterpieces, which explore the man and what, why and how he painted.

By Jane Choy-Thurlow


Thursday 8 November 2018

14.00: WONDER WORKERS AND THE ART OF ILLUSION (THE HISTORY OF MAGIC THROUGH ART AND PICTURES)

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Egypt was the cradle of magic. Sorcerer Priests used scientific principles to create illusion for the edification of worship and to hold power over the people. The age-old skill of sleight of hand proves that “the hand is quicker than the eye”. With the emergence of the Music Hall, magic gained a new respectability and audiences flocked to watch the extraordinary feats of The Great Illusionists. This talk will be a tour of the history of mystery through art from 3000 BC to the 21st century.

By Bertie Pearce


Thursday 6 December 2018

14.00: MEET ME AT THE WALDORF

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The glamorous art deco Waldorf-Astoria hotel on Park Avenue, “home in New York to the stars” had an equally iconic predecessor on Fifth Avenue which was demolished to make way for the Empire State building. Creators, designers and celebrities met, feasted and lived there. Gilded Age meets Jazz Age in splendour.

By Mary Alexander


Thursday 10 January 2019

14.00: ALFRED STIEGLITZ (1864-1946)

A. Stieglitz is rightly remembered and celebrated as one of the first people to have recognized the artistic potentials of photography. He developed a theoretical approach of that new way of making images in his editing of CAMERA WORK. But he was also a practitioner, aware of the possible developments of pictorialism or abstraction. Famous for his portraits, in particular of Georgia O’Keefe, and his uncompromising views of New York’s modernity, he also gathered around him young artists known as “precisionists” whose careers he relentlessly promoted.

By Christian Monjou


Thursday 21 February 2019

14.00: TOWN MOUSE, COUNTRY MOUSE: ART AND NATURE IN THE LIFE AND WORKS OF BEATRIX POTTER (1866-1943)

Although Beatrix Potter’s childhood was spent in almost complete seclusion in West London, her imagination was inspired by summers spent in Scotland and the Lake District and she became a passionate amateur naturalist. It was with the creation of Peter Rabbit that her private world became the key to her independence. Those unique and exquisitely illustrated little books have ensured her place among the immortals of children’s literature.

By Elizabeth Merry


Thursday 21 March 2019

14.00: THE MUSICAL WORLD OF JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750)

Bach is so important in the history of music that we close down the Baroque period with his death in 1750. He is one of the most challenging of composers and rarely reveals the subtleties of his music on first or even second hearing. We shall go beneath the surface of Bach’s music to decode some of his symbolism and to highlight some of his aesthetic goals.

By Peter Medhurst

Peter Medhurst will also perform a selection of Bach’s arias and keyboard music.


Thursday 11 April 2019

14.00: LAST SUPPER IN POMPEII

For the Romans, getting together to eat and drink was a central part of life. By celebrating the Roman love affair with food and drink, we embark on a fascinating journey. New research from Oxford and Italy unveils secrets from vineyards, graves and even the people of Pompeii themselves.

By Dr. Paul Roberts

(In connection with the exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 25th July 2019-13th January 2020)


Thursday 23 May 2019

14.00: DAME ZAHA HADID

Before her untimely death in 2016, Dame Zaha Hadid was one of the most distinguished architects in the world. She developed a new form of architecture: she set architecture free by rejecting 90 degree angles, so that, many of her structures are extruded to the most extreme organic shapes. Those who enjoy breath-taking images and have a keen interest in cutting edge design will be mesmerised by the daring yet brilliant structures of Dame Zaha Hadid.

By Anthea Streeter


Lectures start at 14:00 and are held at:

Théâtre du RANELAGH, 5 Rue des Vignes, 75016 Paris

(reduced mobility entrance: 2 bis Rue des Marronniers)

Metro: Muette, RER C: Boulainvilliers, Bus: 52, 22