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History and Appreciation of Art

The activity of the group is to further our understanding and appreciation of art through an illustrated talk from the leader and with contributions from the group. All are welcome; whether expert or not come and join in the conversation, find out more about the wonderful and surprising world of art

Robert Sedgley
Deputy Leader:
Mike Ponting
HAA Trip Organiser:
Tina Bellenie
Email: History & Appreciation of Art
Telephone: 630 161 687

5.00 pm to 7.00 pm beginning October.

Meetings are at 5.oopm on the first Tuesday of the month at the Biblioteca de l’Envic (see the yellow panel below)
Next Meeting: Tuesday 3rd. October


We have now been running for about seven years and have come in our chronological survey to the early Twentieth Century, and are looking at the revolution in the visual arts that we call Modernism.
For new members who wish to catch up on earlier meetings please visit the Illustrated Notes and Themes below.

However, this is by no means compulsory – we are not an exam group

”There really is no such thing as Art.  Only artists”
E. H. Gombrich


”Bad artists copy, good artists steal” 


”Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world” 

For illustrated notes of previous meetings, and timelines of artists throughout history, scroll to the bottom of the page 

1) A chronological survey of western art.

Eg, Pre historic and antique, Classical Greek and Roman, Medieval and Pre Renaissance, Italian Renaissance, High Renaissance and Venetian, Northern (Flemish and German), Post Renaissance (Mannerism, Baroque and Rococo), British Art, Eighteenth and Nineteenth century France etc. Impressionists and early development of modern art. 

This is an immense field so we will be taking only a brief glance at each period. The survey is treated in a flexible manner so if members wish to spend more or less time on any specific period or artist this can be accommodated. There will inevitably be more gaps in the fabric than covering material. 

The meetings are very informal and members are encouraged to contribute their own views and opinions of the artworks we are looking at.

2) Taking a theme from the period covered we compare how artists of other times or cultures have dealt with the topic.

3) Members are invited to present a work from any time or place which interests, mystifies, attracts, or repels them and would like to talk about, and get everyone else talking about. 


Next Meeting


Said to be the only truly British modern art movement, Vorticism was a London-based modernist art movement formed in 1914 by the writer and artist Wyndham Lewis. Other artist associated with the movement include C. R. W. Nevinson, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, David Bomberg, Edward Wadsworth, William Roberts. Helen Saunders and Jessica Dismorr, The term was coined by the poet Ezra Pound, who proclaimed: ‘[The vortex was] that point in the cyclone where energy cuts into space and imparts form to it … the pattern of angles and geometric lines which is formed by our vortex in the existing chaos.’

First Tuesday of the month at Biblioteca De l’Envic (36 Pg. de Gregori Maians)

at 5.00pm.

Zoom meetings are temporarily suspended

Please apply to the leader by phone or e mail  for more information, to confirm date and to join the meetings.

New members welcome


Moving Pictures is an ongoing BBC radio series exploring artworks in high resolution and fine detail, including links to other works and web pages

Click the link here then click on episodes


The Web Gallery of Art is a searchable database of European fine arts and architecture (3rd-19th centuries), currently containing over 48.000 reproductions. Artist biographies, commentaries, guided tours, period music, catalogue, free postcard and mobile services are provided.

Click here

Visual History is an educational site, in English, provided by the Toledo Museum. It provides an excellent grounding in the ‘Art of seeing Art’

Click here

Analysis of Modern Paintings

1800 to 2000

click here

ILLUSTRATED NOTES: Periods and Artists

Prehistoric Art * Cycladic and Etruscan Art * Classical Greek and Roman Art * Medieval Art and Architecture * The Early Renaissance, part one * The Early Renaissance, part two * Early Netherlandish Painting, part one  * Early Netherlandish Painting part two * Bosch * Breugel * German Renaissance: Grüenwald and Dürer *  CranachHigh Renaissance: Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael * Giorgione * Titian * Tintoretto * Mannerism * Caravaggio * Artemisia Gentileschi * 16th and 17th Century Spain * 16th Century British Painting * Dutch Art, 17th Century18th Century; Portrait and Landscape in British Art The Royal Academy and the Academic Tradition * William Blake * Turner and Constable  * 18th Century; France and Venice * Goya Romanticism * Realism 1; Nineteenth Century France, Corot and CourbetRealism 2; The Realist Heritage * Symbolism * The Barbizon School * Impressionism Les Nabis Neo Impressionsm * Divisionism – Heritage * Van Gogh and Gauguin, part one: The Early Years * Van Gogh and Gauguin, part two; Arles and the Aftermath * Gauguin the Legend * Cézanne, part one; The Years of Struggle * Cézanne, part two; Mountain of Victory * Art Nouveau * Vienna Secession * Gustave KlimtKlimt; the Beethoven Frieze  * Egon Schiele * Three Expressionists: Munch, Ensor, Kollwitz * Die Brucke * Cubism I, Picasso and Braque * Cubism 2, Cubist developments * Modernism in Ukraine 1900-1930 * Italian Futurism * Russian Futurism *