Cranleigh Arts Centre
West Surrey Area
Museums & Art Galleries
to Bacon: English Painting 1850-1950
Report of the lecture given by Linda Smith BA (Hons) MA, on Wednesday
24th March 2009
25 March we had the pleasure of hearing Linda Smith talking about a hundred
years of British art. Linda is an experienced gallery guide and lecturer and
her fame has even spread to the other side of the world. In August she will be
lecturing in Newcastle, our Australian 'twinned' NADFAS group.
slides showed a wide variety of paintings beginning with the genre paintings of
Augustus Egg and ending with Paolozzi's Pop Art
The various movements
overlapped. We saw Millais's painting of Ophelia, which portrayed the
decorative style of the Pre-Raphaelites, and Tissot's paintings of high society.
In the same period Whistler was painting his impressionistic scenes of Cremona,
which Ruskin criticised so strongly, and Aubrey Beardsley was shocking the
general public with his erotic black and white illustrations.
At the beginning of the 20th Century the Post-Impressionist influence was
very strong and some artists, such as Vanessa Bell and the Bloomsbury Group,
concentrated on shapes and bright colours depicting a wide range of subjects.
Abstract art developed during the early 1920s and we saw examples of the work of
Wyndham Lewis and David Bomberg. War Artists were represented by Chris Nerison
and Paul Nash, whose painting of an aircraft dump in World War 2 entitled 'Totes
Meer' was very poignant
Linda's last slides included a rather grotesque
painting by Stanley Spencer entitled 'Double Nude' (which may have caused
Margaret Thatcher to refer to him as 'that man who paints those dreadful
Hopefully Linda Smith will return to Cranleigh DFS to show
us her sequel to this interesting lecture.