August 2020 Monthly Meeting

Grainne Purkiss, who spends some of her time working with an educational charity called Magic Lantern Art,  presented a talk about six paintings depicting aspects of love and romance:

Here is some more information that Grainne sent as a follow-up to her talk:

Love and Romance  list of paintings


Slide Artist Title Medium/size Year Location
1 Jan Van Eyck The Arnolfini Portrait Oil on oak board (3 panels)  82cm x 60cm 1434 National Gallery London
2 Sandro Botticelli Venus and Mars Tempera and oil on poplar 69cm x 1.73m c.1485 National Gallery London
3 Frans Hals A Marriage Portrait Oil on canvas 1.4m x 1.66m 1622 Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
4 Jean-Honoré Fragonard The Swing Oil on canvas  81cm x 64cm c.1767 The Wallace Collection London
5 William Holman-Hunt The Awakening Conscience Oil on canvas 76cm x 56cm 1853 Tate Gallery London
6 Gustav Klimt The Kiss Oil and gold leaf on canvas 1.8m x 1.8m 1908 Österreichische Galerie Belvedere Vienna


Here is a link to a 4-minute clip about Klimt’s “The Kiss”

For me, the most accessible art historian is the late, Sister Wendy Beckett and I would recommend any of her books as she is so easy to read and very witty.

I would also recommend 1001 Paintings to see before you die. A bit of a bucket list!

Websites – on Youtube I find that Smarthistory, produced by the Khan Academy, are great for a 10-minute dip – nothing too taxing!


An apology to the gentleman who asked if the face of the model in The Awakening Conscience had been re-painted. He was correct. Not due to it being too shocking (as I suggested) but because Holman-Hunt’s relationship with Annie Miller had broken down and he repainted ALL of her faces in his paintings of her.


Grainne Purkiss