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DateLecture
13 May 2019The Holland Park Circle
01 April 2019Drawn from Life : The extraordinary Art and Life of Augustus John
04 March 2019Picasso in Britain : Art, Politics and Outcry
04 February 2019"Mind the Gap" - Graphic and Poster Design on the London Underground.
07 January 2019January lecture
04 December 2018How do they make that noise? The Opera Singer Phenomenon
05 November 2018The "Glasgow Boys" and their triumph over the Edinburgh "Glue Pots"
01 October 2018Legendary Porcelain Collectors : Princes, Power and a Passion for Fragile Beauty
02 July 2018Fuego, Humo, y Hierra - How Spanish artists portrayed the Iron and Steel industry of Bilbao
04 June 2018Lover, Teacher, Muse .......or Rival? - Exploring the careers of notable artist couples
14 May 2018The Bronzes of Ife and Benin and a historical review of the art of NIgeria
09 April 2018Giles - His Life, Times and Cartoons
05 March 2018Art UK - Uncovering the Nation's Hidden Oil Painting Collection
05 February 2018Habitat Catalogued - How colour and contemporary design saw off the lingering shades of postwar austerity and revolutionised British retailing.
08 January 2018Votes for Women! - Marking the centenary year of women getting the vote.
04 December 2017From Turkey to Trifle - A history of Food and Dining Habits during the Festive Season
06 November 2017A passion for Piers - An entertaining look at pleasure piers over the last 200 years
02 October 2017Basingstoke and its contribution to World Culture
03 July 2017The Historical Use of Wallpaper in the British Interior, 1865 to the present day
05 June 2017Legend and Lustre: Jim Thompson and Thai Silk
08 May 2017Georgia: Land of The Golden Fleece
03 April 2017Double Dutch : Symbols, Emblems and "double-entendre" in Dutch genre painting
06 March 2017John Opie; The Cornish Wonder
06 February 2017Photographic Odyssey : Shackelton's Endurance Expedition, captured an camera
09 January 2017The Taplow Burial
07 November 2016Pevsner in South Somerset
03 October 2016Lancelot Capability Brown - Landscape Art and Dame Nature
04 July 2016The Role of the Arts in the cycle of Crime, Prison and Re-offending
06 June 2016200th Anniversary of the Parthenon sculptures (or how Lord Elgin gained and lost his marbles)
09 May 2016Art of Light - Stained glass in the City of London
04 April 2016The Origins of the Icon – Painted wooded panels or Eastern Windows to Heaven?
07 March 2016Forde Abbey
01 February 2016The Art & Craft of the Pewterer
11 January 2016Miniatures in the Wallace Collection
07 December 2015The life and loves of Edouard Manet
02 November 2015Art and the Napoleonic Wars
05 October 2015What really happened at the Yellow House in Arles between Van Goth and Gauguin?
06 July 2015A brief illustrated history of jewellery
01 June 2015Art, Fish and Sail: Cornish Historic Art including Charles Napier Hemy, H.S.Tuke and Newlyn School
11 May 2015Spanish Fire – El Greco and Picasso
13 April 2015The Cathedrals of Salisbury, Wells and Exeter
02 March 2015Klimt and the Viennese Secession
02 February 2015King George III: 'the most cultured monarch', art collector, friend of America and family man
05 January 2015Russian and Soviet Art: From Icons to Socialist Realism
01 December 2014Glory to the Newborn King – Nativity Art
03 November 2014Looking at Dickens 1812 – 2012
06 October 2014Never Such Innocence Again: The First World War through the eyes of Artists and Poets
07 July 2014A Tale of Two Houses: Blackwell and the Hill House
02 June 2014Garden History: In Search of Paradise from the Chahar Bagh to Chelsea
12 May 2014The Indian Textile Trade: Kashmir shawls to chintz
07 April 2014William Arnold and his Somerset Masons
03 March 2014From the Levant to the Parc Monceau: the collection of Moise and Isaac de Camondo
03 February 2014Sleeping Beauties: the Irish Country House
06 January 2014Isabella d'Este, First Lady of the Renaissance
02 December 2013Merrily on High - the history of the English carol
04 November 2013Images of Cleopatra
07 October 2013The Limewood Sculptors of Renaissance Germany
24 September 2013Special 40th Anniversary lecture: Harlots, Rakes and Crashing China - an accidental introduction to 18th century ceramics (and to the works of William Hogarth)
01 July 2013China Comes to Town
03 June 2013Life and Times of the Sundial
13 May 2013Gardens of Cornwall and Normandy
08 April 2013The Great Age of the Poster – Posters of the Belle Epoque
04 March 2013Lowry: a visionary artist
04 February 2013Rescuing Zeugma from the floodwaters of the Euphrates
07 January 2013Embroidered with woodbine and eglantine - Elizabethan textile furnishings
03 December 2012In the Bleak Midwinter - artists' responses to snow
05 November 2012Aspects of Love in Art
01 October 2012Contemporary silver development in the 20th and 21st Centuries
02 July 2012Medieval Masterpiece – Hotel Dieu at Beaune
11 June 2012The book as art form and function in creative book structures

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The Holland Park Circle Jennifer Toynby-Holmes Monday 13 May 2019

Old Holland House and Park was actually the remaining part of Cope Castle built in 1605 by the Diplomat Sir Walter Cope. This large house with 500 acres of grounds and Dower House (Little Holland House) eventually became the property of the widowed Lady Holland and became the hub of the art movement known as The Holland Park Circle.

George Frederick Watts sowed the seeds of the Circle’s development when he moved into Little Holland House in 1850 and stayed 25 years, painting solely for his own pleasure and developing his own style. He had no financial worries, and of all the painters and sculptors who followed him and took up residence and built houses in the Holland Park area there were few who did. From the beginning the Circle enjoyed wealth, and the artistic freedom this gives.

The area became a centre for arts and culture. Leighton built his house, “Leighton House” in Holland Park Road behind Watts’ house in Melbury Road. There he painted his most famous work “Flaming June”. Many of his [paintings sold for large amounts of money allowing him to add an Arab Hall to his house to house a magnificent collection of Eastern tiles. Val Prinsep built his studio house at number 14 Holland Park in a style which popularised the Queen Anne Style at Holland Park and the emerging “satellite” areas of Kensington and Chelsea. Samuel Luke Fildes, who gained fame as an illustrator was the next artist to erect a studio house, followed by Marcus Stone who was a talented but untrained artist.  Stone became an Illustrator of note, working for Dickens and Trollope. Colin Hunter erected his house in Holland Park Road in 1877. From Glasgow, he was also self-taught and became a notable seascape painter operating largely in the Hebrides and Cornwall. William Burges designed his own house, known as The Tower House at number 29 Melbury Road in 1875. Fascinated by all things mediaeval, he was inspired by Cardiff Castle.

A stable block in Holland Park Road was adapted for younger and, for the most part, far less affluent artists, notably Louise Starr and Henrietta Rae famous for her painting of Miss Nightingale at Scutari, The Lady with the Lamp. Her paintings of naked nymphs gradually became socially acceptable as the century wore on. Women artists were still not permitted to attend life classes, and for them to produce paintings of nudes both male and female, was rather daring…

William Holman Hunt spent the last years of his life at number 18 Melbury Road where he painted his famous Light of the World in 1904, always to be seen at St Paul’s Cathedral. The Lady of Shallot now in the Manchester Art Gallery is equally famous.

By 1910 Watts, Prinsep, Hunter and Holman Hunt were all dead and so was the enthusiasm for this kind of art.

Holland Park was badly bombed in WW2 much of it being destroyed, and many of the houses that had been badly damaged were not considered worth restoring. Leighton’s House was preserved and is now a fascinating museum, but what remained of Old Holland House was sold to the Council and partly turned into a Youth Hostel, with a very small picturesque part which survived forming a backdrop for the Holland Park Opera.

But the tide of art fashion seems to be changing yet again, with the Victorian Rooms in the Tate Britain Gallery now a favourite destination for visitors…

Louise Adams

 

 

 

 

 

Old Holland House and Park was actually the remaining part of Cope Castle built in 1605 by the Diplomat Sir Walter Cope. This large house with 500 acres of grounds and Dower House (Little Holland House) eventually became the property of the widowed Lady Holland and became the hub of the art movement known as The Holland Park Circle.

George Frederick Watts sowed the seeds of the Circle’s development when he moved into Little Holland House in 1850 and stayed 25 years, painting solely for his own pleasure and developing his own style. He had no financial worries, and of all the painters and sculptors who followed him and took up residence and built houses in the Holland Park area there were few who did. From the beginning the Circle enjoyed wealth, and the artistic freedom this gives.

The area became a centre for arts and culture. Leighton built his house, “Leighton House” in Holland Park Road behind Watts’ house in Melbury Road. There he painted his most famous work “Flaming June”. Many of his [paintings sold for large amounts of money allowing him to add an Arab Hall to his house to house a magnificent collection of Eastern tiles. Val Prinsep built his studio house at number 14 Holland Park in a style which popularised the Queen Anne Style at Holland Park and the emerging “satellite” areas of Kensington and Chelsea. Samuel Luke Fildes, who gained fame as an illustrator was the next artist to erect a studio house, followed by Marcus Stone who was a talented but untrained artist.  Stone became an Illustrator of note, working for Dickens and Trollope. Colin Hunter erected his house in Holland Park Road in 1877. From Glasgow, he was also self-taught and became a notable seascape painter operating largely in the Hebrides and Cornwall. William Burges designed his own house, known as The Tower House at number 29 Melbury Road in 1875. Fascinated by all things mediaeval, he was inspired by Cardiff Castle.

A stable block in Holland Park Road was adapted for younger and, for the most part, far less affluent artists, notably Louise Starr and Henrietta Rae famous for her painting of Miss Nightingale at Scutari, The Lady with the Lamp. Her paintings of naked nymphs gradually became socially acceptable as the century wore on. Women artists were still not permitted to attend life classes, and for them to produce paintings of nudes both male and female, was rather daring…

William Holman Hunt spent the last years of his life at number 18 Melbury Road where he painted his famous Light of the World in 1904, always to be seen at St Paul’s Cathedral. The Lady of Shallot now in the Manchester Art Gallery is equally famous.

By 1910 Watts, Prinsep, Hunter and Holman Hunt were all dead and so was the enthusiasm for this kind of art.

Holland Park was badly bombed in WW2 much of it being destroyed, and many of the houses that had been badly damaged were not considered worth restoring. Leighton’s House was preserved and is now a fascinating museum, but what remained of Old Holland House was sold to the Council and partly turned into a Youth Hostel, with a very small picturesque part which survived forming a backdrop for the Holland Park Opera.

But the tide of art fashion seems to be changing yet again, with the Victorian Rooms in the Tate Britain Gallery now a favourite destination for visitors…

Louise Adams