Art History Lectures in Wellington

Wendy is available to give lectures on topics relating to French history, gastronomy, art history and literature in the Wellington area.

​Recent lecture series given at Victoria University Continuing Education

Wendy can tailor any of these topics to your audience.

La Belle Époque in Paris: Art, culture and progress

La Belle Epoque, or Beautiful Era, designates a golden age in the history of France between the close of the Franco-Prussian War and the beginning of World War I (1870-1914).

You will learn about this period of optimism, elegance and progress - both in the arts and sciences - through the eyes of pioneers such as Monet, Manet, Lautrec, Rodin, Debussy, Picasso, Sarah Bernhardt, Oscar Wilde and their friends. While these revolutionaries paved the way for an extraordinary blossoming in the arts, Gustave Eiffel was challenging architectural tradition with his iconic tower, and César Ritz (‘the King of hoteliers’) was changing the face of modern gastronomy.

The seduction of the Mediterranean: Life, love and art from Cézanne to Picasso

A course which examines the golden age of post-Impressionist painting at the turn of the 20th century and considers the lives and works of artists who settled in the provinces of Southern France, collectively known as the ‘Midi’.
From Catalonia to Provence, artists with sometimes radically different approaches to painting grappled with the bright southern light, so different from the soft northern light that inspired much Impressionist painting.
Drawn to the mild Mediterranean climate and the raw beauty of the region’s unspoilt landscapes and coastlines, artists from Cezanne to Picasso refined new techniques and created masterpieces that are today considered the cornerstones of Modernity.

Paris, Provence and the painters of modern life

A journey through one of France’s most fascinating periods of artistic history. A course which introduces the French art of the second half of the 19th-century, focusing on artistic responses to the concept of ‘modernity’, a term coined by the famous poet and art critic Charles Baudelaire in 1863. Explores the different ways French artists of the time embraced or rejected ‘modernity’, paying particular attention to avant-garde artists associated with the Realist, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist movements.

Painting the French Mediterranean: Monet to Matisse

Follow in the footsteps of Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Matisse and other great painters on an armchair journey to this beautiful region of the French Midi, from Languedoc-Roussillon to Provence and the Cote d’Azur.

Kind Words

“The course stimulated my interest in the topic and gave many fascinating insights into the French Mediterranean region and its artistic history. I loved seeing an array of paintings (and some early films) and learning of their context. Wendy is extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic about her subject. Her courses are always a joy! I come away wanting to explore the topic more and with an added ability to appreciate the art works I see."

"I found Wendy's style of presenting this course very enjoyable, interesting subject matter presented in an informative, accessible and entertaining manner. I would like to attend her courses again in the future."

"Dr. Joyce was an excellent communicator and the material presented was well chosen to be reachable for the diverse audience. She approached the subject matter with an academic viewpoint but maintained a balance with the audience’s knowledge."

"I really enjoyed this course. This course provided a good base and flavour for further study. Wendy was a delight to listen to and the images of the paintings of the Impressionists really supported the lectures."

"The lecturer has an enviable breadth and depth of knowledge of these French painters as well as the enthusiasm to inspire: a great educator!"

“I am simply LOVING this series!!! I have never attended anything like this before! For 3 hours on the past two Saturdays I have found myself in another world. For some reason I feel energised by the time I leave the workshop. I am just so excited, with ideas, and wanting to talk to people about this ‘stuff’!!! Thank you for bringing Paris to life for me… I am looking forward to next Saturday’s session already.”


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