31 January 2020Review of 'Rembrandt and Vermeer: Titans of the Golden Age of Dutch Art' lecture on 27th January 2020
03 December 2019Review of Christmas Backstage at the Opera 29th November 2019
18 November 2019Review of Welsh Architectural Eccentricities Study Day 15th November 2019
31 October 2019Review of 'Last Supper in Pompeii' 28th October 2019
06 October 2019Review of visit to Watts Gallery on 1st October 2019
27 September 2019In Memory of Chris Gulliver, our Vice Chairman
27 September 2019Review of 'Les Parisiennes' lecture on 23rd September 2019
27 September 2019AGM - new committee members elected
02 August 2019Review of 'Art of Grayson Perry' lecture on 25th July 2019
24 July 2019Church Recording of St James’ Finchampstead
05 July 2019Review of Mexican Study Day July 2019
01 July 2019Review of 'The History of Wallpaper' lecture on 27th June 2019
01 July 2019Review of visit to Greenwich June 2019
01 June 2019Review of 'Photography as Fine Art' lecture on 23rd May 2019
23 May 2019Review of Hidden Reading walk May 2019
30 April 2019Review of 'Florentine Disegno versus Venetian Colorito' lecture on 25th April 2019
04 April 2019Review of 'Captain Cook – Art and Exploration Extraordinaire' lecture on 28th March 2019
22 March 2019Review of 'The Image of the Annunciation' Study Day 13th March 2019
07 March 2019Review of 'Passion and Rivalry – Mantegna and Bellini' lecture on 28th February 2019
31 January 2019Review of 'Still Searching for the Queen of Sheba' lecture on January 24th 2019
31 January 2019Lectures to take place on Monday evenings from Sept. 2019
13 October 2018Winning entry of the Service the Others category - Love Wokingham Photographic Competition
21 September 2018AGM - new committee members elected
31 May 2018May 2018 Bulletin - Newbold Church
30 April 2018April 2018 Bulletin
20 October 2016Clifton Ingram Partnership Press Release October 2016
02 June 2015Venue Change for 2015-2016 Lecture Programme.
05 May 2015Michael Shirley elected to NADFAS Trustee Board
29 July 2014Introductory Lecture

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Review of 'Rembrandt and Vermeer: Titans of the Golden Age of Dutch Art' lecture on 27th January 2020
Friday 31 January 2020

  Rembrandt v Vermeer - Duel of the Dutch Titans

Even the most entrenched philistine would have found it difficult not to enjoy Lucrezia Walker’s excellent lecture on Rembrandt and Vermeer, delivered to The Arts Society Wokingham at Newbold Church, Binfield. Her engaging style and presentation held the attention of her audience as she explored the contrast between the introspection of Rembrandt and the close observation of daily life represented in the works of Vermeer.

Though he never left Holland, Rembrandt was influenced by the Italian and Flemish masters. His early years were conducted as a prolific and successful portrait painter in affluent Amsterdam where when his connections through marriage introduced him to a host of wealthy clients prepared to commission portraits. His later biblical, mythological and narrative themes demonstrated his empathy for the human condition. Most striking, however, were his self-portraits, painted throughout his lifetime with no attempt to disguise the ravages of time.

Vermeer, in contrast, was only moderately successful during his lifetime, producing just 34 known paintings and relying on his other occupations as a publican and art dealer. He only came to international prominence in the 19th Century when his talent for close observation of ordinary life in 17th Century Holland was recognised. Lucrezia led us through a variety of household scenes where we were invited to be “accidental eavesdroppers” in the tradition of much 17th Dutch art. His use of paintings within paintings, probably part of his own collection as an art dealer, and of mirrors to reflect the warm light, are features of his work. Unlike Rembrandt, there is no collection of self-portraits which would have surely reflected the tragedy of his later years when Holland was at war. It would have been some consolation to him perhaps if he had known that his “Girl with a Pearl Earring” would eventually achieve worldwide attention.

At the beginning of her lecture, Lucrezia invited her audience to choose either Rembrandt or Vermeer as the greatest artist of this Dutch Golden Age. Though the charm of the Girl with a Pearl Earring is patent, I am haunted by the final self portrait of Rembrandt Harmernszoon van Rijn, warts and all.

Our next lecture, Figures in the City, will be held on Monday, 24th February at Salisbury Hall, Newbold College, St. Mark’s Road, Binfield, RG42 4AN commencing at 7.45pm. Do come and join us. Visitor fee £8.

To find out more about the Arts Society, visit

                                                                                                                          Dudley Cooper