Guildford Evening Decorative & Fine Arts Society - Eric Shanes & Linda Collins


Fri 14 Oct
Morning session - 10:30 - 13:00
Afternoon session - 14:30 - 17:00  £18 per session (including coffee  and cake)

GEDFAS are back at the Book Festival for the fourth year, and returning to the historic Guildhall in the High Street. This year’s line-up comprises two of NADFAS’ most popular and accomplished speakers on two inspiring and visually arresting subjects: 

Morning session: Douglas Skeggs The Medici: Bankrolling the Renaissance

The Medicis were in many ways an unattractive family. Ruthless in pursuit of profit for their Florentine bank, which had branches in every city of the known world, they were greedy for success, merciless to those who opposed their ambition and vicious in their own internal squabbles. And yet without them we wouldn’t have Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus”, the Fra Angelico frescoes in San Marco, Donatellos “David” or the majestic Michelangelo sculptures in the Medici chapel.

Douglas looks into the turbulent history of this extraordinary family. The triumphs and tragedies, the intrigues and plots; the assassination attempts, the years of exile and their perpetual desire to glorify the family name in works of art, which was to result in some of the greatest achievements of the Italian Renaissance. 

Douglas Skeggs read Fine Art at Magdalene College Cambridge and has been a lecturer on paintings since 1980. In that time he has given over 4000 lectures to universities, colleges and art societies. He was the director of 'The New Academy of Art Studies' for three years and is presently a regular lecturer at 'The Study Centre', 'Christie's' course 'The History of Art Studies' and other London courses. 

Afternoon session: Linda Collins Art & Culture in Paris 1850-1930, Decadence, Hedonism and Experimentation

In the afternoon we explore Fin de siecle Paris – the Moulin Rouge and the Can Can girls, the Cabarets, the Expositions and, of course, the artists. Baudelaire urged Manet to become a flaneur - to go out and paint the ‘real heroes of Modern life’- the absinthe drinkers, the ragpickers and the prostitutes. From the academic art recognised as the benchmark of good taste at the beginning of our period, through the Impressionist artists, the post-impressionists and finally, to Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avigno.

NADFAS is a leading arts charity which works to advance arts education and appreciation alongside promoting the conservation of our artistic heritage. There are more than 300 societies in the UK with 34 Societies, with approx. 7,000 members between them, in the Surrey Area alone.