After winter break we resumed in February looking at Impressionism and the influences
that shaped the movement.
Photography over time had changed painting. As its popularity increased – from 100,000
Daguerrotypes in Paris in 1849 to 105 million photos in existence in Britain in just
12 years, you could say it ‘took off’. It changed the way artists worked in the
studio: there was less need for paid models, painters could take photos and colour
them in, and use them for reference. It diminished demand for miniatures and portraits.
In terms of composition, as the camera viewfinder restricts the view and cuts off
edges, it looks very different from an Academic traditionally planned composition
with a centre of interest and other rules. The blurry images produced by the long
exposure times in the early cameras gave an effect of movement in figures which some
painters imitated, which is again different from the Academic standards with their
fine brushwork and precise detail.
Photography also changed war painting. Photos of battle scenes were not as ‘heroic’
as the composed ordered scenes in Academic painting.
The impact of photography meant that art no longer had to be the mirror of nature,
as the camera could record life more accurately.
In 1854 a treaty opened Japan to trade, and artefacts and especially the Japanese
woodcut prints with their unusual compositions, and colours and shapes greatly influenced
The late 19th century also brought new ideas about colour theory, the colours in
snow and shadows outdoors, and the newly available pre-mixed colours in portable
tubes, allowing outdoor painting.
Our group leader Brian Souter also discussed the lives and backgrounds of Impressionist
painters, so this little summary is just a taste of what the course has offered us
The Modern History group has now completed its spring sessions and David Davies hopes
to run the course 'UK History 1945-1997' in the spring of 2012. Bookings can be made
at the Open Day on 23 September 2011
The next Italian Conversation class meeting will be as usual at the Conservative
Club on Tuesday 7th June at 5pm.However in July we will meet for a more informal,social
evening at L'Albero Delle Noci restaurant on Cheltenham Crescent,in fact on Tuesday
12th July at 7:30pm.
We will meet again at the Club in October on the first Tuesday of the month,4th October
The summer term is in full swing and will continue until July 19th. It continues
to run on Tuesday afternoon from 2pm-3pm. New members are always welcome to join
us at any time in the term. Email: for more information. The Autumn term will start
on Tuesday 6th September. PUT IT IN YOUR DIARY!
The above group started last Autumn, and has been meeting every other week in one
of the Leaders’ homes.
The purpose is a self-help group with members choosing to knit a personal item or
to make something for charity.
At the moment most members have decided to knit items for charity, using wool that
has been donated. We have made blankets and other things from patchwork squares,
and items for premature babies. We are also
making clothes and toys to give to the Shoe Box scheme for sending to Eastern European
We are very grateful to members who have given us wool and would be very pleased
to receive more as our present stocks are running low. Contact