Events | Art & Power – A Visual Lecture

  • Location: Soho Farmhouse, 1 Tracey Farm Cottages, Great Tew, Chipping Norton OX7 4JS
  • Date: 14.05.19 | 7:00pm
  • Book Now: Please note that this is a members only event: contact

Art & Power – A Visual Lecture


Pablo Picasso proclaimed, famously: ‘Painting is not interior decoration. It is an instrument of war for attack and defence against the enemy.’ This insight provided by one of Art History’s most prolific image-makers, is just one perspective on the power that art holds over the spectator. One might even suggest that a picture is worth a thousand words, and certainly during the Middle Ages, a predominantly illiterate populace could ‘read’ a religious painting on a didactic or pedagogical level. Furthermore, art’s currency as a political or propagandist weapon, was fully exploited by Napoleon Bonaparte during his meteoric rise to power during the late eighteenth-early nineteenth century. In the case of Vincent van Gogh, art has become biography, in charting his decline into the arena of the unwell whilst a patient of the asylum of Saint-Rémy. Controversial artist Marcus Harvey’s image of Myra Hindley prompted staid Royal Academicians to resign, and the windows of the establishment were smashed with bricks. At Hitler’s behest, many German Expressionist works branded ‘degenerate’ were confiscated and their artists’ studios bombed in orchestrated air raids. Such is the power of art. Come along and join the discussion with Nick Nelson, Director of Arcadia Education.