Drawing the Figure: Apollo and the Male Nude
Saturday 30 January 2021, 11.00-16.30 GMT
Develop your own creative practice on this one-day drawing course exploring the most common subject in European art: the human body. Focusing on the male nude, through close study of our masterworks and guided drawing exercises, you’ll become familiar with its long history and idealisation in art, from youthful Apollo and heroic Hercules, to ageing river gods.
Taking the classical standing nude as our starting point, we’ll help you learn the basics of proportion and balance by reducing complex structures into simplified forms. Then focusing on more dynamic, twisting poses, you’ll explore the quality and direction of lines through the body and introduce shading and foreshortening to your work.
Drawing the Figure: Gods Entwined
Saturday 27 March 2021, 11.00-16.30 GMT
Develop your own creative practice on this one-day drawing course exploring the most common subject in European art: the human body. Looking at figures entwined in combat or embrace, our focus for the day will be the spatial and emotional relationship between multiple bodies, and the potential for making exciting and dramatic drawings.
Through close observation of masterworks in the Collection including Baroque sculpture and paintings by Boucher and Le Moine, we’ll experiment with speed and mark-making to support longer periods of drawing. You’ll be guided through several exercises that will help you to understand the basic structure of the figures, capture the twists and tensions of the body, and locate the visual centre-point of a complex pose.
Making Connections with Art: Still Life
Tuesdays 23 February; 2 and 9 March 2021, 18.00–19.45 GMT
The Wallace Collection’s extraordinary range of painting and sculpture offers inspiring and thought-provoking images which are as relevant today as when the works were first created. Discover how we can make meaningful connections with them by looking slowly. This three-session course is designed to help you develop visual analysis skills by looking at paintings in detail. Concentrating on a small number of still life works, you’ll develop core skills in active looking that can be applied beyond the course, as well as increasing your familiarity with the artworks selected.
Saturday 20 February 2021, 11.00–16.30 GMT
From graphic novels and illustrated articles online, visual storytelling remains a key aspect of modern publishing. Join our introduction to the method and techniques of narrative illustration, taking inspiration from some of the greatest visual storytellers of the past. Working with the Wallace Collection's superb range of narrative-led artworks, we’ll take our lead from the likes of Murillo, Boucher and Rubens to learn how their approaches still inform the foundations of character and story development in illustration today.
Interiors and the Art of Living at the Time of Riesener and Marie-Antoinette
Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 March 2021, 11.00–12.45 GMT
As we stage a display in the museum of our most sumptuous pieces of Riesener furniture, explore the contemporary interiors and daily occupations that surrounded some of his most celebrated works. We’ll consider evolving styles, the use of textiles and panelling, and the taste for Chinese and Japanese lacquer to help you build a broader understanding of the interiors, furniture and decorative arts of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette's court at Versailles.
International Artists: Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun and Rosa Bonheur
Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25 March 2021, 18.00–20.00 GMT
Timed for March’s annual celebration of the achievements of women, explore the work of French artists Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun (1755-1842) and Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899), both of whom were successful, professional artists in a male-dominated art world. As well as introducing some of the artists’ key works in the Wallace Collection, each session will also provide insights into the experiences of women artists in 18th- and 19th-century France.
Read the full course description and buy tickets
The Passion of Christ in Art
Tuesday 30 and Wednesday 31 March 2021, 11.00-13.00 BST
From Palm Sunday until Easter, the story of Christ’s Passion is one of the most dramatic sequences of any religious narrative – and indeed, of any story, fact or fiction. All of this is depicted in the Wallace Collection’s breathtaking array of paintings, sculptures, manuscript cuttings, ivories and even jewellery. In this short course, timed for Easter week, we'll examine them in detail to help distinguish the different elements of the story, explore the ways in which each was interpreted, and discuss the wider implications for art and faith.
Conferences and Study Days
Conference: Velázquez and the Spanish Prince: Baltasar Carlos in the Riding School
Thursday 4 and Friday 5 March 2021, 15.00-18.00 GMT
Next March, the Wallace Collection will host a conference drawing together an international panel of eminent scholars working on the Spanish Habsburg Court and Spanish art. The conference will focus on one of the best-loved paintings at the Wallace Collection, Prince Baltasar Carlos in the Riding School.
The first day will explore the Wallace painting and the questions raised by its recent restoration, including Velázquez’s technique, and the broader context that might have influenced the composition. The second day will explore the differences between the Wallace picture and the fully accepted autograph version in a private collection, aiming to find out more and open up the complexities of these two portraits.
Full programme to follow. Registration will open in early 2021. To receive notification of when registration opens, please register your interest here.
This conference is generously supported by the Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica (CEEH).
Conference: Rubens's Great Landscapes
Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 May 2021, 14.00 to 17.00 BST
Next May, the Wallace Collection will host a major conference drawing together an international panel of eminent conservators and scholars.
The conference is the first in many years to focus exclusively on Rubens as a landscape painter and his two masterpieces of landscape, A View of Het Steen in the Early Morning and The Rainbow Landscape - reunited in the associated exhibition, Rubens: Reuniting the Great Landscapes - will be the primary focus of our discussion.
Full programme to follow. Ticket booking will open in early 2021. To receive notification of when tickets go on sale, please register your interest here.
This conference is generously supported by the Monument Trust.
Copies, Fakes and Reproductions: A closer look at works in the Wallace Collection
Thursday 21 January 2021, 15:00 to 16:00 GMT
It is well known that the Wallace Collection houses an internationally renowned collection of French eighteenth-century furniture, but it is perhaps not so well understood that several of these pieces are not quite what they seem to be. Fashions and tastes change all the time and in this fascinating insight Helen Jacobsen looks at how collectors and dealers — and even cabinetmakers themselves — have viewed copies and reproductions over the years, perhaps even causing us to reassess our attitudes to the concept of ‘fake’.
An Evening at the Wallace Collection: Lockdown Tour with the Director
Tuesday 9 February 2021, 18:00 to 19:00 GMT
Join Director of the Wallace Collection, Dr Xavier Bray, for a digital evening tour of the museum. As visiting the museum in person is not currently possible, let Dr Bray walk you through your favourite galleries and reacquaint you with some of the Collection’s masterpieces.
The evening will also include a solo performance in the galleries by Thomas Carroll, renowned cellist, and Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Orpheus Sinfonia.
Following the tour, Dr Bray will be joined live by other Wallace Collection curators for further discussion and questions.
What Makes a Medieval Knight?: Family Live Stream
Saturday 13 February 2021, 9:00 to 9:30 GMT
Suitable for ages 7+
Pulling swords from stones, great castles with drawbridges, jousts on horseback, and perhaps even a dragon or two... We’ve all heard stories about brave knights in armour, but what was it really like to be one of the fighting men of medieval Europe, over 500 years ago?
Join us this February half term to learn all you need to know about medieval knights. We'll answer all the important questions, such as why did they wear armour, is armour really heavy, what did knights eat for breakfast, and how did they go to the toilet in steel trousers?
Live Family Storytelling: Anansi and the Unknown Challenge
Wednesday 17 February 2021, 9:00 to 9:15 GMT
Suitable for ages 5+
Join storyteller Wendy Shearer this half term for a lively telling of the intriguing West African folktale, 'Anansi and the Unknown Challenge', and discover the dazzling Asante gold objects here at the Wallace Collection.
In this traditional story from the Akan people of Ghana, Anansi the spider gets into trouble with the King and is set an impossible challenge. Follow Anansi the trickster as he journeys through the forest with a little help from his friends, and tries to steal Tiger’s golden treasures.
Make sure to bring a shaker with you to help Anansi on his way!