the Second Act is about to begin…

On the 5th of January we began Episode-1 of our first five Art History and Appreciation Talks. These richly -illustrated events are hosted each week on the now-universally-familiar Zoom platform. They boast far more beautiful images however than your average Power-Point on Zoom! Instead of flow chart and pie-charts, picture instead (already covered) stunning details from a Fra Angelico Annunciation, a memorial by Paulo Uccello, a portrait by van Eyck, or a Crucifixion scene by Rogier van der Weyden.

The talks are conducted live each Tuesday early afternoon (with two o’clock sharp start-time (14.00 GMT each week) Each talk is then also available within just a few hours to watch in recorded form also, for those who could not make the live event, or for those who simply wish to revisit the images and ideas. (The same ticket is used whether you enjoy the talk live or recorded, although the links to the live and to the recorded talk are sent out to ticket-holder in two separate emails)

Our course so far has covered Giotto in the 1300s, through the first half of the Italian and Florentine “Quatrocento” (Masaccio, Donatello, Fra Angelico, Paulo Uccello et al) then crossed the Alps as it were last week, to enjoy the great so-called “Netherlandish Primitive ” painters like van Eyck and van der Weyden.

The “bad news” is that there is just one remaining talk in this first first cycle of 5 talks, Mantegna and Bellini – this Tuesday 2nd of February (with the recorded version hot on its heels). There are two bits of good news however, the first is it’s still possible to buy a one-off ticket for that one, individual talk, Andrea Mantegna & Giovanni Bellini here This ticket, priced €12.50 is available up to 12pm Irish time, Tuesday 2nd of February. That’s to say, until 2 hours prior to the talk .

Andrea Mantegna, Triumphs of Caesar (scene 9) painted 1485-95. Royal Collection, Hampton Court.
The San Zacharia altarpiece by Giovanni Bellini 1505, San Zacharia Church, Venice.

The second, even-better news is that there is still, as we write, some availability remaining for 5- in One tickets for the entire second half of the series. In other words a discounted 5-Talk ticket covering Talks 6 to 10 inclusive.  Tickets for this second half of the series are just €50 – valid for all 5 talks- and are available here.

If a green “Buy Now” button pops up on your screen while reading, you may also hit that instead, then navigate to Zoom Art Talks, then to the window for Ticket to Talks 6-10 (Feb 9th to March 9th) 

These five talks cover the legendary High Renaissance, with great names Botticelli, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, then progress to Italian masters of the 1600s like Caravaggio and the legendary sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini, then onto Dutch luminaries like Rembrandt and Vermeer. Finally, in our last week, we’ll conclude with a discussion of “Grand Tour” Art of the 1700s. (Canaletto and others)

All of the talks, as noted above are richly illuminated with examples of the best artworks and many telling details: close-ups which reveal nuances of style, of technique, composition, meaning and symbolism. 

*This 5-in One ticket also includes access to all 5 live talks and free additional access to each recorded talk, for Talks 6- 10.  All guests are entitled to watch either the live and recorded versions, of every event Talks 6- 10 or both if they so wish. A link to each talk is emailed to guests within 24 hours of the live event and is then available to view for a minimum of 7 days.

Overall, this is a gentle, highly enjoyable yet superb introduction to deepen your understanding of the great Art of Italy and the Low Countries, with stunning artworks from the mid-1440s to the mid-1700s and some of the greatest art ever made in Europe. Talks last approximately 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. A bonus feature, a live Q&A,  is also available at the end of each live talk: only for those who wish to put questions or observations to the host.  This is not recorded, for obvious date protection reasons.  There is no obligation or expectation whatsoever for anyone to attend the Q&A: it’s only a bonus feature for those who may wish to pose a question or remark.

The feedback so far has been extraordinary.   We are very happy and proud to be able to make the course available to another 12- 15 people, subject naturally to availability.

If you are able we hope you will join us for this second half of the series. Tickets are available, once again,  here.

Primavera, by Sandro Botticelli painted late 1470s or early 1480s Uffizi Gallery, Florence.
Leonardo da Vinci: Annunciation, Uffizi Gallery, Florence, painted circa 1472–1475
Jan Vermeer, The Astronomer, 1668, Louvre, Paris.

 

new, live Zoom Art talks

Following the success of our June and October Zoom talks on Architecture and local history, we are now running a series of richly illustrated Zoom talks on Art, starting at 2pm on Tuesday 5th January and continuing every Tuesday for 10 weeks. These are talks on Art History and Appreciation, where we will explore some of the most famous old master artists from Giotto to Vermeer, and beyond.  We think many of our guests will really enjoy and savour these talks.  We also think they could make a perfect gift for any family member or friend who has always been an art lover.

The first talk starts at the birth of the Renaissance, with Giotto.   In the following weeks we will look and talk our way through Masaccio, Donatello, Fra Angelico, Jan van Eyck, Botticelli, Raphael, Caravaggio, Jan Vermeer, Canaletto and many more.

Along the way we’ll meet these legendary artists in history and get to grips with their astonishing achievements. We’ll learn about their lives and artistic context, try to see and understand them as their contemporaries first did, and try comprehend the impact their art made in its own time and the influence it exerted thereafter.

Single Tickets can be purchased for any of the individual talks, or Combined (and discounted) Tickets for a whole block of either 5 talks or for all 10 talks.  See more below.  For no extra charge, it’s also possible to watch and listen to the talk on a recorded version, available from the following day and for 6 additional days afterwards (using the same ticket/s).

Here are the topics and dates, starting with our first talk on Tuesday 5th January. All live talks commence at 2pm Irish Time each Tuesday. Don’t forget, even if you can’t make the original time you can still buy a ticket and enjoy any of the 10 talks in its recorded version the next day (and for the following 6 days).  Here is the running order…

Week 1 Art Talk: 2pm (Irish Time) Tuesday 5 January 2021: Giotto, the Arena Chapel and the Dawn of the Renaissance.  Individual ticket available here.

Week 2 Art Talk: 2pm (Irish Time) Tuesday 12 January 2021: the Quattrocento – Masaccio and Uccello, Donatello and Brunelleschi.   Individual ticket available here.

Week 3 Art Talk: 2pm (Irish Time) Tuesday 19 January: the Quattrocento continued: Fra Angelico, San Marco and the Medici. Individual ticket available here.

Week 4 Art Talk: 2pm (Irish Time) Tuesday 26 January: the Northern masters: Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden & their peers. Individual ticket available here.

Week 5 Art Talk: 2pm (Irish Time) Tues 02 February: the “Early-High” Renaissance in Italy: Andrea Mantegna and Giovanni Bellini. Individual ticket available here.

(It’s also possible to purchase a discounted 5 talks-in-1 ticket, valid for the first 5 talks, here.)   Or see below for other combined ticket options.

Week 6 Art Talk: 2pm (Irish Time) Tuesday 09 February: the Renaissance in Italy continued. Piero della Francesca, Sandro Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci. Individual ticket available here.

Week 7 Art Talk: 2pm (Irish Time) Tuesday 16 February: the High Renaissance in Italy, continued: Michelangelo and Raphael. Individual ticket available here.

Week 8 Art Talk: 2pm (Irish Time)  Tuesday 23 February: Italy and the Baroque in the 1600s: Caravaggio and Artemisia Gentileschi; and the sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Individual ticket available here.

Week 9 Art Talk: 2pm (Irish Time) Tuesday 02 March: Holland in the 1600s Rembrandt and Jan Vermeer.  Individual ticket available here.

Week 10, final Art Talk: 2pm (Irish Time) Tuesday 09 March: the Grand Tour Tradition in 1700s Italy, and the Art of Panini, Piranesi and Canaletto. Individual ticket available here.

All talks cost €12.50 plus booking fee when purchased individually.  Alternatively, you can purchase one of our 3 combined ticket options, at a saving of €12 to €30.  The three combined ticket options are as follows:

  1. a 5-in-1 ticket for the first 5 talks (Talk 1 to Talk 5) at €50 + booking fee: Buy this 5-in-1 ticket type here.  This covers the first half of the course from Tuesday 5th January to Tuesday 2nd February.  This ticket also includes free additional access to each recorded talk for Talks 1-5.  A link to each talk is emailed to guests within 24 hours of the live event.  Each is then available to view for +6 days after delivery.

2. a combined 5-in-1 ticket for the second half of the course, valid from Talk 6 to Talk 10 for €50 + booking fee. Buy this 5-in-1 ticket here. for the second half of the course from 9th February to 9th March.  This ticket also includes free additional access to each recorded talk, for Talks 6-10.  A link to each talk is emailed to guests within 24 hours of the live event.  Each is then available to view for +6 days after delivery.

3. the entire course of 10 talks for €100 + booking fee (approx €30 saving, relative to individual tickets). Buy the full course of 10 Talks-in One Ticket Here.   This ticket also includes free additional access to each recorded talk, for all Talks 1-10.  A link to each talk is emailed to guests within 24 hours of the live event.  Each is then available to view for +6 days after delivery.

If you have a good friend or family member keen to learn more about Art, please consider purchasing one or more talks as a gift.  Or, if you yourself are the biggest art-lover you know, and keen to learn more, then we look forward to seeing you online!

If you wish to share details with a friends or followers, there are social media buttons immediately below.  Thank you for your support.

New October Zoom Talks

Live, online Dublin history & architecture Zoom talks: we go again,  starting Tuesday 6th October!

In response to the Covid crisis and its many restrictions, Dublin Decoded ran our first series of online history and architecture “virtual tour-talks” using the Zoom platform, last June.    The response was terrific, and we are delighted to now announce a second series, starting very soon indeed, looking at four more fascinating historical areas of Dublin..

Our talks take place live, at 2pm, every Tuesday afternoon in October, starting next Tuesday 6th October.

Over these 4 new talks we’ll explore and discuss..

Rathmines, on Tuesday 6th of October; 2PM, tickets available here. 

Portobello (13th Oct) 2PM tickets available here. 

Ballsbridge (20th Oct), 2PM, tickets available here. 

Blackpitts, through Newmarket and Weaver Square, to Cork Street and the Coombe our last talk on Tuesday 27th October, at 2PM,  with tickets available here. 

Each talk costs €14 each although, alternatively,  it’s also possible to purchase a Four-talks in-One ticket, at a slight discount here although this ticket type may only be purchased up to two hours before the first talk in the series (Rathmines, at 2pm on Tuesday 6th of October please.

What to expect in our October Zoom Talks.  People who attended any of our June walks will know what to expect.   These talks are not virtual tours, in the literal sense of a live camera, wandering along the streets.  They are instead highly informative yet accessible discussions,  richly illustrated, dynamic slide-talks:  designed and researched by guide, writer and local historian Arran Henderson of Dublin Decoded tours.  The talks are delivered live – via the medium of a Zoom call.   As well as seeing and listening to Arran deliver the material live on Zoom, each talk contains a rich and varied succession of contemporary and archival photographs, of historic maps, old topographical prints and engravings, each image chosen to shed light on aspects of the city’s history and architecture.   You will find that, in each of our chosen areas, there are many, many such layers!   In all of these talks walks we will look at the most beautiful and notable architecture in each area, including many fine Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian and Modern building (including Dutch Billes in the Liberties, and some Art Deco gems in Rathmines!)  All this architecture and design history will be mingled with unexpected fragments of history; including notes on politics, religion, poverty, philanthropy, literature, history and revolution.   No previous knowledge of Dublin architecture, or history, is required to enjoy these tours however.  All are welcome!

Asm mentioned above each talks takes place at 2PM each Tuesday in October (2020).  Tickets available on the links above.   Tickets are €14, per talk, plus a small booking fee.  It’s also possible to buy a Four-in-One ticket which is slightly discounted and convenient, and which grants access to all four talks.   (Four-in-One ticket holders will receive four separate email invitations, one on the day of each talk, with a link to each Zoom talk).    In all cases, tickets should be purchased at least 2 hours before the talk, at a minimum, ideally earlier please.   For obvious reasons,  our Four in One tickets are only available until 2 hours before the start of the first talk.

Whenever you purchase tickets, you will receive two separate and different emails.  First, you will receive a simple confirmation email, as soon as your purchase is complete.   Then, on the day of the talk itself, all ticket -holders will receive a second, more important invitation email.   This email contains your link to the Zoom talk.   This invitation email will only arrive in your mailbox between 1PM and 1.15PM Irish time, on the day of the talk.   You should press on the link within to join the Zoom call.   Please do so anytime from 1.45PM to 1.55PM Irish time.  As a courtesy to other guests, we ask you to log in lease at least 5 minutes prior to the start time,  so we can begin at 2PM sharp?

Here are the new dates and topics for our October Zoom Talks.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Important Notice on how to access the Zoom Talk. 

In our first Zoom talk, back on Tuesday 2nd June, 51 of our 52 ticket holders successfully managed to join the call.   Please don’t be caller number 53!   Please read the following notes and tips, to ensure a smooth and stress free experience on your Zoom history talk….    

1- When you purchase your ticket or tickets, you will receive a confirmation email for each purchase.  This however is only a confirmation.  It does not contain the links to access the Zoom talks.  The link containing your Zoom invitation is only generated later, on the day of the talk itself.  It will be sent to you in a second, separate email just 45- 60 minutes prior to the talk.

2- Therefore,  if you have purchased a ticket, please check your email just 45 minutes (only)  before the talk commences, on the day of the talk.   Please remember also that the email may not arrive into your Primary email folder.   Please therefore check all email folders, including (on Gmail for example) your “Social”, “Forum” and “Updates” folders please?

3- Please also remember, to refresh your email page every few minutes, in case the link arrives by email while you are looking for it?

4- Once you see the email, please press the link in that email to join our Zoom call, any time up to 1.45PM Irish time (14.44).   The talk proper begins 2pm sharp. We would ask guests to ideally press the email link at least 5 minutes before the start of each call, just to avoid delays for other guests?   Thank you.

5- Etiquette: Once commenced, each talk lasts approx 60 – 75 minutes.  Guests’ computer microphones will be un-muted at the beginning of the talk, but then muted (by the host) for the duration of the talk itself.  Microphones will be un-muted again after the end of the 60 minute talk, for a further 10-20 minutes for a Q&A.  (As a point of etiquette, there is of course no necessity to stay on for this Q&A section, unless you wish to, guests are welcome to leave the call at any time.  No offense will be taken, honestly!    🙂

We hope some of you can join us the ticket links to the remaining talks are all above.

We look forward to seeing you on Zoom!

Arran Henderson   |   Dublin Decoded.

River Talk 5 image Talk 5

Dublin Decoded 2018, our year in pictures.

It was a slow start to our year, what with snow in March, then a broken bone in my foot early April!   But once we did get going with our walking tours,  we barely drew breathe for the next seven months.

One particularly exciting tour early in our schedule was to 9/9A Aungier Street. Now concealed behind a later 18th century facade, this is actually a house from the 1600s, and in fact one of the oldest surviving houses in Dublin.

Angier St & 9-9A tour March ‘18 1

9/9A is still undergoing a hugely complex restoration process.  We are extremely grateful therefore,  both to the owner, and to the conservation architect, Sunni Goodison for allowing us special access for this visit,  and putting on such an illuminating, fascinating talk,  of this venerable, deeply historic building.  Among other treasures we heard of a small shoe, left in the ancient timbers of the buildings, then found in the restoration process.  This hiding of a shoe was a common superstition of the Early Modern period (the 1600s) – done to ward off witches and evil spirits!

DD Tour oif Angier St & 9-9A tour March ‘18 1

 

Arra on a Dublin DEcoded How to Read a Painting Tour NGI 2018

March and April, with the weather still not hitting the sunny heights it did later in 2018, we held some of other Spring-time tours indoors, including several visits to the National Gallery, both for our signature How to Read a Painting Tour (above) and on a special one-off visit to the Denis Mahon archive (below)  Huge thanks to NGI Mahon archivist Leah Benson, and her team, for hosting us there.

at the DEnnis Mahon archive NGI March 2018

April saw a whole plethora of highly varied tours.  An early example was walk around some of the architectural gems of South-East central Dublin, including those on Kildare Street and Kildare Place, on Dawson and Kildare Streets and St Stephens Green.  This tour concluded on Harcourt Street, and & visit inside the  former HQ of old Sinn Féin during the Revolutionary Era,  number 8, Harcourt St.  It is now home to Conradh na Gaeilge (the Gaelic League) and I am indebted to the archivist there, Cuan O’Seireadáin, for the superb talk he provided.   (Picture below)

IMG-6372

 

 

The weather was better a few days later for our next Dublin Decoded event,  when we walked a section of the “Dub-line” the stretch that follows the ancient Slí Mor along High Street, Cornmarket, Thomas St and James St.   That tour concluded with a visit to the stunning Edward Worth Library, a fossil library established in the early 1700s and left untouched ever since.   A truly magical place.   (See pictures below)  We are always treated there to a welcoming and scholarly talk on its history, and its extraordinary collection of rare precious books,  by the head Librarian Dr.  Elizabethanne Boran.   It has thus become something of a Dublin Decoded tradition to visit the Worth Library (within old Steevens Hospital)  every 12 to 18 months.  I have no doubt we will visit again sometime in 2019.

Worth Library 2

Worth Library 1

Worth Library 3

One more bad day in June, when we debuted a brand new, and very different walk, a tour of the architecture and retail history of Grafton Street.   A story full of surprises.  As you can see in the picture below, the weather was less obliging, alas!  All my hardy guest git soaked to the skin.  But everyone was such a good sport we somehow had a really enjoyable excursion nonetheless.

First ever Grafton St tour 15 April ‘18

Around the same time we debuted a brand new tour we’d been preparing for several months, of the architecture and retail history of Grafton Street. This it turns out is a story full of surprises. As you can see in the picture below, the weather was less obliging, alas! All my hardy guest git soaked to the skin. But everyone was such a good sport we somehow had a really enjoyable excursion nonetheless.

We ran the Grafton Street a few more times over the year, including one version for the IGS in June and another two for Culture Night in September.

From May onward however the weather improved dramatically, as Dublin and Ireland experienced one of our hottest, driest summers for 40 years.   Day after day of blue skies and baking sun.  It made for great walking weather!

Next we went to Temple Bar, giving it the “Decoded” treatment.  It turns out even the best known parts of Dublin are full of surprises.

Temple Bar Tour

 

Our next tour brought us to the North West quarter of the city,  on a tour of the fascinating area on and around Grangegorman.   With its old Work Houses, Asylums, and the Women’s Penitentiary, this is one of the most fascinating yet least understood area of Dublin.   Accordingly this has become one of most popular tours and during 2018 we led tours for our own Dublin Decoded members, as well as the Rathmines Historical Society and the Irish Georgian Society.

Grangegorman Tour for IGS 23 June ‘18

Gragegorman Tour 2018 photo credit Luke McManus

We were proud to continue our valued association with the Irish Georgian Society (IGS) this year. In fact it is a association that continues to grow.   Not only did we lay on a number of different walking tours for the IGS during 2018, they also invited us to design and lead a new, entirely unique tour, designed around their key exhibition of the year Exhibiting Art in Georgian Ireland” a large, prestigious exhibition focused on the art and groundbreaking exhibitions of the Society of Artists from 1764- 1780.

(below: pictures from the Society of Artists exhibition, by Francis Wheately)

francis-wheatley-the-dublin-volunteers-on-college-green-4th-november-1779

(above and below: pictures on show at the Society of Artists exhibition, these by Francis Wheately, including the Volunteers at College Green, image courtesy of the National Gallery of Ireland.   Below, the Ambush and Blinding of Parolles, by the same artist, Private collection)

Francis Wheatley Parolles Ambushed and blindfolded - Fota House

Our approach was to hold half our tour among the art within the exhibition, and then to spend the second half out and about on the streets, tracking down the lodgings and stuios and other general whereabouts of the original 18th century artists, such as Robert Hunter, Thomas Roberts and Hugh Douglas Hamiliton .  It was a challenging but rewarding tour to research, plan and put together.  The terrific reward was that our guests seemed to get an awful lot out of it.

Around this time we did another Grangegorman walk, as they are always in demand.  Then we changed gears again and explored one of my absolute favorite themes, and my favourite approach to any walk, Dublin’s Medieval Walls.  This was a really fun day out. Here we are by the former church of Saint Nicholas Without.

Dublin Decoded group St Nicolas WthIn, on Medieval Walls Walk, October 18

Later the same afternoon saw us hosted royally by the superb OPW guides at the ancient church of Saint Audoen, including a superb talk on the medieval Portlester Memorial. (Below)

Dublin Decoded group St Audoen's on Medieval Walls Walk, October 2018

All this time of course, right through the year, we took on various private groups and private family and small group tours.   So here I am below for example with the utterly charming Nozaki family from Japan,  pictured first inside the University Church, then later at the National Gallery of Ireland.

with the Nokazaki Family at the Univ Church

with the Nokazaki Family at the NGI

and here below is another wonderful family group I’d the pleasure of guiding for four wonderful days, this time from the Flemish part of Belgium.  (We were on a visit to Marsh’s Library at this point,  as you may see!)

IMG-1323

I had better warp it up there although i will say there were also a couple of very interesting late season tours to the River side quays, Grand Canal Dock and Hanover Quay.   It is of course an extraordinary district, chock full of fascinating architectural, engineering, commercial and maritime history.

Hanover Quay

Bindon Blood Stoney Diving ball on Sir John Rogerson Quay

It is also an area that continues to change, very rapidly.  I suspect we will pay at least one further visit in 2019.   Keep your eye out on the mailing list.

Grand Canal Dock

I didn’t even mention the two great Dutch groups we hosted.   Nor my sense of extreme privilege to partner up for one day and collaborate with the great Shane O’Toole.  Nor that Dublin Decoded were also honoured to be chosen to host and lead a group from the London Art History Society,  for all four days of their tour here to Ireland.   It was a total pleasure.  Here they are, in Edward Lovett Pearce’s extraordinary House of Lords,  inside the old Parliament buildings.   Huge thanks as always to Bank of Ireland for accommodating visits such as this on their premises.  It is always appreciated.

London Art History Society early July 2018, (at the House of Lords)

 

Very finally,  we were extremely honoured for our two last tours to be asked to lead two extraordinary tours,  first a Renaissance-themed tour for the Royal Hibernian Academy and Temple Bar Studio and Galley’s (TBG+S) collaboration, the Winter Seminar, Lives of Artists.  (This is one of the Renaissance paintings we discussed on that tour, Marco Palmezzano’s Madonna and Saints in the National Gallery of Ireland. image courtesy of the National Galley of Ireland)

S Madonna w Saints by Marco Palmzanno NGI

 

Just a week later we led a second tour for TBG+S,  this time at the invitation of the brilliant Ellen Rowley and TBGS curators Cliodhna Shaffrey and Orla Fitzpatrick.  This secoind walk was on the theme of books and libraries, traveling from the Chester Beatty, to Marsh’s Library, then the lanes around  Temple Bar and Castle St.   It was fantastic!   I was honoured to be invited to lead tours like this, as you can well imagine.

So to sum up?    Well, once again, at the end of 2018,  I suspect I may very well have the best job in the world.   And once again, for another year I would like toi thank all of my guests through the whole last 12 months, for your custom but also for your great company, your humour, patience, and un-ending intellectual curiosity and sense of fun.   You are, undoubtedly,  what makes it all worthwhile!     I wish you all a very happy festive season and hope to see many of you again next year in 2019.

Happy Christmas and new year everybody.   We shall see you on the other side!

Arran Henderson  – Dublin Decoded.

on the Gragegorman Tour 2018 photo credit Luke McManus

 

Nat Hist Museum with Horner School group

 

Grafton St tour

 

francis-wheatley-the-dublin-volunteers-on-college-green-4th-november-1779Remco de Fouw, Door of Green Building, Temple Bar

Gragegorman Tour 2018 photo credit Luke McManus

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