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08 October 2020Paradise Found: A Cultural history of Provence

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Paradise Found: A Cultural history of Provence Hilary Hope Guise Thursday 08 October 2020

This Special Interest Day comprises three lectures on the long history of Provence. First as a Classical land, established by the Greeks with cities along the coasts and trading routes inland. In Roman times it became the empire's greatest province with amphitheatres and aqueducts attesting to the development of Roman culture in the area. Christianity was established very early on – and there is the legend that Mary Magdalene landed in the Rhone delta and lived her life out in a cave on a mountainside, teaching a pure form of the Christian message. Later, the Knights Templar established hospices to protect the Pilgrims on their way from Rome to Santiago and there are pilgrim churches and abbeys with ancient Romanesqe carvings scattered throughout Provence. The Popes during their time in Avignon built palaces and collected many great art works. Aix-en-Provence and Arles are full of Roman and Early Christian historical remains whilst further west we encounter the history of the Cathars. Finally, in the last lecture the vivid Midi light fills the canvasses of Cézanne and Vincent Van Gogh as we study the “Landscapes of Provence” through their eyes.

The day consists of 3 lectures, with coffee and biscuits served between the first and second. The third lecture follows a light lunch served between 1 and 2pm, this to include a glass of wine or soft drink.

Venue - Ashtead Peace Memorial Hall

Doors Open - 10.00am for a 10.30 start

Event ends - circa 3.00pm

Cost - £28 per person

Tickets available - at either our regular July and September 2020 meetings or, after 1 September, from Roger Steel on 01372 272083


Hilary Hope Guise is currently on the faculty of Florida State University, where she directs the Art History courses on the London campus. She has also taught for universities in North Carolina, Montana, in Aix-en-Provence and also in Cape Town - her birthplace. She has taught courses on Impressionism and Post Impressionism for Cambridge University and was also an invited Guest Speaker at the International MENSA conference, also held in Cambridge. As well as lecturing to branches of The Arts Society throughout the world, Hilary has toured widely in the cause of art around the USA, and worked for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. Her doctoral research is in Archaic and Classical Greek Art,  and she combines a love of Classics with her life-long career as an artist. Hilary initially trained at Central St Martin’s in London and her studio is in the Docklands. Her work can be seen on her website: www.hilaryguise.com through which you can also send a message if you want to follow up on these lectures.