Art History Day School - Trees in Art & Literature

Art History Day School - Trees in Art & Literature

23 Oct 2021


Victoria Methodist Church, Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 1NU


From £20 to £30


23 Oct 2021

Select your tickets:

Full: £30

Student/rwa volunteer: £20

The Word For World is Forest: Trees in Art and Literature

Saturday 23 Oct 2021, 10am – 4:00pm

Led by Dr Justine Hopkins 

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Trees are remarkable, as individual entities and particularly when gathered together in forests, where reality and dream meet and mingle in strange and unexpected ways. Poets and artists have always known this: trees in all the varied stages of their life, growth and death have been and remain a constantly recurring theme of painting, sculpture and literature. Trees have inspired artists to explore new ideas and new ways of expressing themselves: the influence of trees on art extends right to the present-day, as integral to Modernism as to classic landscape, while tree literature ranges from poetry to science; science fiction to drama.

This Art History Day School will be held in person at Victoria Methodist Church (next door to RWA). It will be broadly based, to include European and Scandinavian examples as well as British. There will be an opportunity to look at paintings in the RWA exhibition on show at the venue, The RWA Collection: Our Heritage, Our Future, offering the opportunity to explore some of the manifestations of this literally deep-rooted fascination, across time and in all sorts of places, some less obvious than others. 

Course Leader:

Dr Hopkins is a freelance lecturer in Art History. Previously, she has lectured at the Victoria and Albert Museum; Bristol, London, Oxford and Cambridge Universities; the Tate, National and National Portrait Galleries; Sotheby's, Christies' and assorted independent institutions, and is a registered lecturer for NADFAS.

The Programme:

  • Growing in the human brain: Trees in imagination and reality from the Bible to William Blake
  • Never two leaves alike: Painting trees from Constable to Cezanne
  • Post-lunch exhibition visit
  • Enchantment and terror: Modern trees from Picasso to Hockney

Reserve your place using the 'Add to basket' button above. Please note that spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.


Michael Ayrton, Entrance to a Wood, 1945 (Arts Council Collection)


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