11th October 2022
Writing: Joshua Tuddenham (Year 12)
Photography: Mrs Prime
Editing: Shubhan Selvaranjan (Year 12)
Visiting the Courtauld Institute of Art as part of our Discovering ARTiculation trip, we were introduced to a brilliant selection of artworks, ranging from the early impressionist, to the renaissance and medieval. We were led by a group of guides; incredibly well-versed in the many facets of art history and the analysis of the pieces we viewed, such as the iconic Bar at the Folies-Bergère by Édouard Manet, The Trinity with Saints Mary Magdalene and John the Baptist by Sandro Botticelli, and The Card Players of Paul Cézanne.
Arriving at the beautiful courtyard contained within Somerset House, we first toured the buildings occupying the Courtauld Institute before entering the aforementioned gallery.
Here, we gained an insight into methods of analysis by which to deconstruct these displayed artworks and present their various aspects in a form of public speaking. Across the rest of the day, we would take these invaluable skills and develop them as we - first at the counsel of our guide, then more individually - applied them to a variety of pieces within the gallery, discussing their impacts upon a viewer, context, artistic interpretation of certain subjects, symbolisms, colours uses, structure, and so on!
By the end of the day, within our groups of around 3 to 4, we would present a 5-minute talk on a specific work found within the gallery. In my group, we were lucky enough to use the Bar at the Folies-Bergere as a subject, a piece utterly packed with content, resulting in heavy discourse - even in this modern day - upon its true intentions, symbolisms, and overall meaning, allowing for much discussion through its presentation.
This day was brilliantly insightful into a variety of methods to reveal the meanings of new and old artworks alike, truly understanding the intent behind them, and has allowed me to confidently explore a far greater range of works, mediums, and symbolic imagery within my own art.