‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’
This illustrated talk centres around four disparate works of art which share in common their either epithalamic or elegiac purpose in relation to patronage. Artworks are often commemorative, commissioned to celebrate a coming-of-age or rite of passage. Prior to the advent of photography in the mid-nineteenth century, commissioning a portrait to celebrate the act of marriage was a form celebration and indeed official evidence of such a ceremonial event. Naturally some viewed this as an opportunity to cement political and/or financial allegiance, and such marriages of convenience were not entirely uncommon during the Renaissance, for example.
Allegory and symbolism colour the work of Titian when capturing the theme of marriage bound up in mythological terms, and his Bacchus and Ariadne painted for the Duke of Ferrera during the High Renaissance in Venice reflects the then penchant for Humanism. David Hockney’s wedding gift to Mr and Mrs Ossie Clark served to illustrate the rift developing in their relationship – so much so, in fact, that they divorced shortly after receiving the painting. Using iconography for the purposes, we will establish how van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait was once viewed as a wedding commission, yet had recently been interpreted as a funereal commemoration.
Please note that this is private event for ‘The Friday Club’ in Painswick