Lecture Series - Flemish Painting in the Fifteenth Century

January 04, 2021

If you are unable to attend the live session, do not worry - all those who register will automatically be sent copies of the lecture to view in your own time (from around four hours after it takes place).


Ghent Altar Piece hero 2 

Flemish Painting in the Fifteenth Century 

Flanders was home to some of the greatest painters of the late medieval and renaissance periods. One of the most economically developed and culturally rich areas of Europe, it was ruled by the Dukes of Burgundy and subsequently by the Habsburgs, its wealth founded on the manufacture of high quality textiles and international trade. Cosmopolitan and enterprising, the great Flemish cities of Bruges and Ghent fostered developments that shaped the course of history, from international banking and the rise of printing to the Protestant Reformation. Dr Paula Nuttall, one of our most authoritative experts on the visual culture of the Low Countries in the early modern period, will give two linked webinars by way of introduction to this fascinating subject.


Bruges in the Time of Van Eyck & Memling – Friday 15 January 2021

In its fifteenth-century heyday, Bruges was the greatest trading centre in northern Europe, a vibrant, cosmopolitan city, favoured by the Burgundian rulers of Flanders and foreign merchants alike. Artists, notably Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling, settled there, attracted by the city’s wealth and potential for patronage. This lecture evokes the Bruges of their day, through the paintings they made for its churches and citizens, and its much-loved surviving buildings and waterways. 


The Ghent Altarpiece – Monday 18 January 2021

Completed in 1432, the Ghent Altarpiece by Jan and Hubert van Eyck is the first datable painting of the Northern Renaissance, and a milestone in the history of art. This lecture looks at the Van Eyck’s dazzlingly naturalistic depiction of people, plants and objects, and unravels the meaning of the altarpiece’s complex imagery. We also explore its later history, including its finding by the Monuments Men in 1945, and highlight some of the discoveries to have emerged during its current restoration. 


Paula Nuttall     

Paula Nuttall


Paula Nuttall is an art historian specialising in the Renaissance. She gained her PhD at the Courtauld Institute, on artistic relations between Flanders and Italy, a field in which she is an international authority. She began her lecturing career at the British Institute of Florence. Paula is Course Director of the V&A Medieval and Renaissance Year Course, and an Associate Lecturer at the Courtauld. She also lectures for the Arts Society (formerly NADFAS), the Royal Collection and the Art Fund. In 2013 she co-curated the exhibition Face to Face: Flanders, Florence and Renaissance Painting at the Huntington Art Collection in California and collaborated on the 2020 exhibition Van Eyck: an Optical Revolution at Ghent. Her numerous publications include From Flanders to Florence: the Impact of Netherlandish Painting, 1400-1500 (Yale University Press, 2004) and a chapter on the Northern Renaissance for the Oxford Illustrated History of the Renaissance.

Format for Lecture

Paula will give two one-hour illustrated lectures. During the lecture you will have the chance to submit written questions which Paula will answer at the end - if time permits.

You will not need to download any software and the lecture will work in any browser. For the best experience use a desktop or laptop - but it will also work on an iPad or similar tablet. You will be also able to re-watch or watch a recording after the lecture.


Register for Lecture Series - 15 & 18 January at 11am 


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