70th Anniversary – Three Score Years and Ten: Seven Centuries of Artists’ Lives from Giotto to Lee Miller

Art History

Day course

Joanna Cobb

8 February 2021


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In the year when Dillington House celebrates 70 years of providing adult education, this course takes the theme of ’70’ as its inspiration and features a selection of artists, both female and male, and of different nationalities, who all passed away in their seventieth year.  Subjects have been chosen in order to cover a range of mediums, including painting in oil and watercolour, on panel, canvas and paper, engraving, fresco, sculpture, architecture and photography.

We begin with a look at three influential figures in art history: the great Northern Renaissance patron Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, Charles le Brun architect of the lavish court and persona of the ‘Sun King’ Louis XIV, and Denis Diderot, often regarded as the first great art critic.

The day will continue with a chronological journey through the careers of artists all of whom died in their 70th year, including Andrei Rublev, Lucas Cranach, Benvenuto Cellini, Canaletto, Thomas Rowlandson, Honoré Daumier, Henry Scott Tuke, Augusta Savage, André Breton and photographers Dorothea Lange and Lee Miller.

Tutor information

Joanna is an independent art historian, researcher, lecturer, and retired history teacher with over 20 years’ experience up to A level and Oxbridge entrance. She holds a B.Ed. degree and an MA in History of Art with Distinction from Birkbeck, University of London, which included modules on the Northern and Venetian Renaissance, and 18th century British art. Subsequent research towards a PhD has centred on the 18th century London art world. Her article, ‘From Parrots to Princes: Exhibitions of Contemporary Stained Glass in Late Eighteenth-century London’. appeared in the online journal Vidimus, Issue 53, July/August 2011. In keeping with her support for lifelong learning in its fullest sense, she present s her independent series of art history lectures across a range of venues in Somerset and has also taught U3A groups in Glastonbury and Wells, as well lectured sixth formers, parents and teachers at Wells Cathedral School. Future projects include short courses for several branches of the WEA, a special presentation for the Western Front Association to coincide with commemorations of the Armistice in 1918, additional lectures at Wells Cathedral School and a collaboration with Wells Film Centre. Her art historical interests include patronage, display, spectatorship, the changing status of art and artists, and the roles and achievement of women as artists. Central to her approach is an understanding of the context in which works of art were produced and experienced, in order to allow the ‘bigger picture’ surrounding them to emerge and in so doing enrich and enlarge the encounter.

Covid information

Dillington House wishes to reassure everyone that we are working closely with Somerset County Council to ensure every measure is being taken to make Dillington House a safe place for everyone.

All course participants will be sent further guidance prior to the course date.

Dillington House is following Government guidelines and adhering to new guidance including local or national lockdowns.

All places booked can be transferred or refunded in the event this course is cancelled. Individuals who are affected by local lockdowns will be able to transfer to an alternative course. All other terms and conditions apply.