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Arts Society lecture: The Illusion of Light & Shadow in Western Art

December 9 @ 10:00 am - 01:00 pm

The Arts Society Painswick has been meeting at The Painswick Centre for over 20 years. They put on monthly lectures covering a wide range of topics with guest speakers. If you are interested in becoming a member please visit their website at www.theartssocietypainswick.org.uk or email them at pains[email protected]

The lecture starts at 11am in the Beacon Hall, with coffee available from 10am. There is free parking at Stamages Lane car park, a short level walk through the village.

December’s lecture is The Illusion of Light & Shadow in Western Art, by Lynne Gibson.

The modern fashion for colour has left us all rather ‘tone blind’. However, the property of light was vital to much Church art: stained glass, mosaics and gold ground panel paintings. From antiquity through to the nineteenth century, tone was often the most important property of a painting.

Leonardo invented Sfumato. Caravaggio embraced Chiaroscuro. The Tenebrists depicted a world of shadows. A favourite device used by Constable and Corot was a small black convex mirror! Twilight often was referred to as ‘the painter’s hour’.

Shading, together with perspective, can offer a convincing illusion of solidity and space. But how can the artist create this illusion? And why was the invention of oil paint so vital for the creation of realistic light effects?

We will explore a wide range of paintings from across the history of Western Art as well as some fascinating optical illusions to discover artists’ tricks of the light.

For the past ten years Lynne Gibson has worked as an independent art historian with a busy freelance schedule. She gives talks, lectures, courses and guided tours to a wide range of organisations around the UK and abroad, including ARCA colleges, art galleries and museums, art societies, the Art Fund, the National Trust and The Arts SocietyI also contribute educational material and gallery talks to exhibitions organised by institutions including The National Gallery, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, The Whitworth Art Gallery and The Lady Lever Art Gallery.

Whilst she has prioritised art history over recent years, previously she worked professionally as an etcher and a painter in oils. Her first degree was in Fine Art and Education, followed by a MA  in ‘Language, The Arts and Education’. Her interests always have encompassed art history, theory and art making.

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