Every Picture tells a Story – Victorian Narrative Painting

Art History

Day course

Joanna Cobb

21 November 2022

9:00 am to 4:00 pm


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Art and storytelling have been linked since the dawn of humankind. How and why the narrative form, in both word and image, became so prevalent in the 19th century are questions central to this course. A period of unprecedented social, cultural, political and technological change, it provided fertile ground for writers and artists such as Charles Dickens and his illustrators, whose themes of love and loss, youth and age, poverty and wealth, fantasy and reality, played out on canvas, print and photography, and still delight and move us to this day. Artists featured include William Hogarth, J.M.W.Turner, William Powell Frith, Casper David Friedrich, David Wilkie, Julia Margaret Cameron, Elizabeth Forbes, Orson Welles and David Lean.

All comers welcome. This course would appeal to anyone interested in 19th-century art and literature in particular, but also those who enjoy digging deeper into the broader historical context. As our discussion will  include some cinematic examples, it may be of interest to students of film as well.  The course would also appeal to those who enjoy creating their own stories from visual images.

Tutor information

Joanna Cobb is an independent art historian based in Somerset.  Following a career teaching history she studied for an MA in History of Art at Birkbeck, graduating with Distinction. In addition to her work at Dillington House, Joanna has presented talks, lectures and courses for several arts societies, ArtsLink, Wells Cathedral School,  the U3A, WEA, and Western Front Association, her ‘Talking Film’ events in collaboration with Wells Film Centre have proved very popular.  Joanna is a keen gardener, holding public openings in support of the NGS and St. Margaret’s Hospice.

Your questions answered

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.

All places booked can be transferred or refunded in the event this course is cancelled by Dillington House. See our Terms and conditions for more information.