Copies, Curtains and Ways of Looking by Chantal Brotherton – Ratcliffe – Thursday November 7 2024

How does our experience of living with and looking at works of art today compare to the viewing experience of earlier centuries? You may never have given a thought to how you enjoy a painting, or what it is that you value in it, let alone wonder whether that enjoyment was different in the past. This lecture will consider the very different conditions in which paintings were displayed and enjoyed in earlier centuries, as well as the very different responses that they evoked. It draws on the evidence in paintings themselves for the many surprising ways in which people handled, hung, used or responded to the art that they owned. From concealing their paintings with a small curtain, to the lighting by candle or window, and the grouping of copies together with originals, this talk will present some of the more unexpected ways that people responded to a picture.

Chantal Brotherton – Ratcliffe

MA in History of Art from Edinburgh, PhD from the Warburg Institute, London University. With 40 years’ experience as a lecturer, Chantal has taught at Sotheby’s Institute of Art on the MA in Fine and Decorative Arts since 1989, and as a freelance lecturer for a number of societies and institutions in London, including the National Gallery and the Wallace Collection. Having also trained as a paintings conservator, she brings an understanding of the making and the physical painting to her lectures and study sessions.

It is a real pleasure to welcome back Chantal who last spoke to us in October 2021 when she gave her outstanding lecture: ‘The Forensic Eye: Find Your Inner Connoisseur’