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Talks

Better Late than Never: On Late Style

3pm, Sunday, 9 October 2016. Listen to the talk in full

Listen to the talk in full:

Titian, Rembrandt, Turner, Matisse and Louise Bourgeois: many of the giants of Western art arguably produced their most exciting work deep into old age. What are the reasons for this? At a time when our culture seems increasingly obsessed with youth, is there a contemporary corollary?

  • Alastair Sooke (chair) is a British journalist and broadcaster. He is Art Critic of The Daily Telegraph and contributes a fortnightly column to BBC.com, the BBC’s international website. He also writes and presents documentaries on television and radio for the BBC, and is the author of three books about art published by Penguin.

  • Dr Xavier Bray is Chief Curator at Dulwich Picture Gallery, London. He previously held curatorial positions at the National Gallery, London, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Bilbao. He has curated a number of exhibitions on Spanish art notably on El GrecoVelázquez and Murillo. He was the curator of the acclaimed exhibition The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting and Sculpture 1600-1700 (2009) and was also responsible for the recent exhibition Goya: The Portraits (2015-16), both at the National Gallery, London. He is now working on Jusepe de Ribera, an exhibition that will focus on his extraordinary images of extreme violence. Xavier has recently been appointed the Director of the Wallace Collection, a post he will take up in November 2016.

  • Emilie Gordenker has been Director of the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis since 2008. At the Mauritshuis, she led the major renovation and expansion of the museum, which was completed on time in June 2014. She continues to publish scholarly articles, create exhibitions for the museum and serves on several boards. She moved to London in 1999, where she continued to publish on her specialty, and also worked for companies providing new media solutions for museums and galleries. She was appointed Senior Curator for Early Netherlandish, Dutch and Flemish Art at the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh in December 2003. 

  • Sam Smiles is an art historian based in Exeter. He has written extensively on British art, focusing principally on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.   His special expertise is the works of JMW Turner and he was co-curator of the recent exhibition at Tate Britain Late Turner: Painting Set Free (2014-15). He has a long-standing interest in the notion of a so-called 'late style' and has recently co-edited a collection of essays Late Style and its Discontents (Oxford University Press, 2016) which provides a forum for its discussion across the arts. He is currently completing a critical study of late works in the visual arts.