• 5 November 2015
  • 6:30 – 8:30 pm
  • Every Thursday for five weeks from 5th November to 3rd December 2015.
    Open to all and free to attend
  • Lecture Theatre, Paul Mellon Centre

This autumn, the Paul Mellon Centre will be launching the first of an annual programme of Public Lecture Courses, designed for those who may not have a background in art or art history but who would like to learn more about the history of British art.

This year’s inaugural Public Lecture Course, Satire to Spectacle: British Art in the Eighteenth Century will be taught by Mark Hallett, Director of Studies, and Martin Postle, Deputy Director of Studies. Their five lectures will cover key aspects of eighteenth-century British Art, with a particular focus on artists such as William Hogarth, Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough and Richard Wilson, and on topics such as portraiture, pictorial satire, the Grand Tour, landscape painting and exhibition culture. The lectures will be complemented by weekly readings and a discussion session directly following the lectures.

Participants are asked to arrive between 18.30 and 19.00, where light refreshments will be served. The lectures will run an hour in length from 19.00 to 20.00 and the discussion session will run until 20.30. The course requires some preparation on the part of the participant. Each lecture will have at most two readings, which will be provided electronically ahead of the start of the course, that participants are strongly encouraged to read in order to have some background knowledge on the topics being discussed in class each week.

As an educational charity the Paul Mellon Centre strives to promote and support academic research into the history of British Art. The Public Lecture Course, which will be free to attend, offers an exciting opportunity to broaden our audiences and to communicate the newest and most original research on British art in an engaging and accessible way.

Satire to Spectacle will take place on Thursday evenings between 5th November and 3rd December 2015 in our newly refurbished Centre at No. 16 Bedford Square.

A limited number of spaces have now become available. If you're interested please contact Nermin Abdulla.

About the speakers

  • Mark oversees all aspects of the Centre's activities, ensuring that it supports the most original, rigorous and stimulating research into the history of British art and architecture, and fosters collaboration with our sister-institution, the Yale Center for British Art. 

    Mark’s scholarly research has focused on British art from the seventeenth century onwards. Books he has written and edited include The Spectacle of Difference: Graphic Satire in the Age of Hogarth (Yale University Press, 1999); Hogarth (Phaidon Press, 2000); Eighteenth Century York: Culture, Space and Society (edited with Jane Rendall, Borthwick Institute, 2003); Faces in a Library: Sir Joshua Reynolds's 'Streatham Worthies' (The Watson Gordon Lecture 2011, National Galleries of Scotland, 2012); Living with the Royal Academy: Artistic ideals and Experiences in England, 1769–1848 (edited with Sarah Monks and John Barrell Ashgate, 2013); Reynolds: Portraiture in Action (Yale University Press, 2014); and Court, Country, City: British Art and Architecture, 1660–1735 (edited with Nigel Llewellyn and Martin Myrone, Yale University Press, 2016). He also co-edited the major online publication, The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition: A Chronicle, 1769–2018 (Paul Mellon Centre, 2018).

    Mark has also been involved in curating numerous exhibitions. He co-curated the 2007 Tate Britain exhibition Hogarth and co-authored the accompanying catalogue with Christine Riding; he co-curated the 2011 York Art Gallery exhibition William Etty: Art and Controversy and co-edited the accompanying catalogue with Sarah Burnage and Laura Turner; he co-curated the 2015 Wallace Collection exhibition Joshua Reynolds: Experiments in Paint and co-edited the accompanying catalogue with Lucy Davis. With his PMC colleague Sarah Victoria Turner, he curated the 2018 Royal Academy exhibition, The Great Spectacle: 250 Years of the Summer Exhibition, and co-authored the accompanying catalogue. He curated George Shaw: A Corner of a Foreign Field, which opened at the Yale Center for British Art in October 2018, before travelling to the Holburne Museum, Bath, in February 2019. With Zuzana Flaskova and Rosie Ram, he co-curated the 2019-20 Tate Britain Spotlight Display Vital Fragments: Nigel Henderson and the Art of Collage, for which he also co-wrote a series of short films on Henderson’s collage-work Screen. He is currently carrying out research for an exhibition on John Constable and J. M. W. Turner.

    Prior to taking up his position at the Centre in 2012, Mark worked in the History of Art department at the University of York. Appointed as lecturer in 1994, he became a professor in 2006 and was Head of Department between 2007 and 2012.

    Mark has been the recipient of a Leverhulme Research Fellowship and a Paul Mellon Centre Senior Fellowship. He has been a Visiting Scholar at Pembroke College, Cambridge (2013–14) and a Visiting Professor at the Courtauld Institute of Art (2014–16). He gave the British Academy’s ‘Aspects of Art’ lecture for 2019, titled ‘The Newspaper Man: Michael Andrews and the Art of Painted Collage’.

  • Martin’s role as Senior Research Fellow focuses upon the research and writing of a catalogue raisonné of the paintings of Joseph Wright of Derby, the organization of a series of annual conferences on the history of the British art trade, organizing and running PMC workshops and public lecture courses, teaching on the Centre’s Yale in London undergraduate courses, and chairing and introducing research events at the Centre. Prior to his present appointment in October 2021, Martin was Deputy Director for Grants and Publications at the Centre. Between 1998 and 2007 he worked at Tate as Senior Curator and Head of British Art to 1900.

    Martin holds a PhD from Birkbeck College, University of London, an MA in British Romantic Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, and a BA in Art History with History from the University of Nottingham. He is a Fellow of Society of Antiquaries, Trustee of Strawberry Hill House, The William Hogarth Trust, The Walpole Society, the De Laszlo Archive Trust, and Council member of the Attingham Trust. His research interests focus principally on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British Art, including portraiture, landscape, the history of art academies, and art in the country house.

    Martin’s many publications include Sir Joshua Reynolds: The Subject Pictures (Cambridge University Press 1995), Gainsborough (Tate and Princeton University Press 2002), and, with David Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds: A Complete Catalogue of his Paintings (Yale University Press 2000). Among the exhibitions he has curated and co-curated are The Artist's Model: Its role in British Art from Lely to Etty (Kenwood and Nottingham 1991), Angels and Urchins: The Fancy Picture in 18th-Century British Art (Kenwood and Nottingham 1998), The Artist's Model: From Etty to Spencer (Kenwood, Nottingham and York 1999), Art of the Garden: The Garden in British Art, 1800 to the Present Day (Tate Britain, Belfast and Manchester 2004), Joshua Reynolds: The Creation of Celebrity (Tate Britain and Palazzo dei Diamanti, Ferrara 2005), Stanley Spencer and the English Garden (Compton Verney 2011), Johan Zoffany, RA: Society Observed (Yale Center for British Art and the Royal Academy of Arts, London 2011–2012),  Richard Wilson and the Transformation of European Landscape Painting (Yale Center for British Art and the National Museum Wales, Cardiff 2014), George Stubbs: "All done from Nature" (MK Gallery, Milton Keynes and the Mauritshius, The Hague 2019–2020). Martin was commissioning editor and contributor to the major PMC research project, Art and the Country House, published online by the Centre in November 2020.