Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

1921 - 2021

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The Power of the Portrait

The Wedding Portrait of Isaac Massa & Beatrix Van der Laan by Frans Hals The Wedding Portrait of Isaac Massa & Beatrix Van der Laan by Frans Hals

Artists since antiquity have dreamed of producing believable images of their leaders, heroes and their peers, but it was not until the technique of painting with oils had been refined by the Flemish masters in the early 15th century, that the genre of portrait painting in all its various guises, achieved the prominence that it attained in the High Renaissance and Baroque periods. Leonardo, Raphael, Titian and Rubens achieved the status of aristocrats, whilst Frans Hals, Rembrandt and Velasquez developed portraiture still further to a level of attainment rarely achieved thereafter. In the 18th century, Gainsborough was the supreme English portrait painter, whilst in the 19th century, David, Ingres, Boldini and Singer-Sargent painted English and French Society.   The contribution of the 19th century Avant Garde will also be considered.


Free glass of wine, beer, or soft drinks. £5 donation to the Reading Room Fund, with under 16 free. For further information: see Berwick-St-James village website, contact Brian Armstrong on Tel. 01722 790647, or