Frans Hals' jaunty and jovial Laughing Cavalier has welcomed generations of visitors to the Wallace Collection - his smile speaks through the centuries. His facial features, and body language exude a casual confidence, and his clothing speaks in a language of its own should we know how to read it. The elaborate embroideries, stiffly-starched linen, and shimmering silks of seventeenth-century sitters carried meanings and messages often lost on us today. Through morning lectures we shall contextualise such clothing (with images of artworks and objects from complementary collections). In our afternoon gallery visits we shall explore the materiality of paintings by late, great artists such as Rembrandt, and Van Dyck. Learn to decipher Dutch from Flemish dress, and delight in the chaos of Jan Steen's disorderly households. Discover why such paintings appealed to collectors in the Dutch 'golden age', and to subsequent generations including the founding fathers of the Wallace Collection, and visitors today. Taught by Jacqueline Ansell.
Wednesday - Clothing or Costume? Decoding dress in the Dutch Golden Age
Thursday - Dress or Drapery? Van Dyck and the courtly ideal
Friday - Upstairs, Downstairs: Maids and Mistresses (behaving badly)