History of Art Presentations

The History of Art Department recently hosted two busy evenings dedicated to the Upper-Sixth pupils’ achievements in their Personal Investigations. This core element of Pre-U assessment takes the form of a long research essay on a topic chosen by the pupils, and is an opportunity for them to apply the analytical skills they have learned in lessons to new material.

This year’s cohort of pupils presented brief outlines of their work to Mr Tolputt, Deputy Head, Academic, on Wednesday 7th November, and to Mrs Harris, Deputy Head, Co-Curricular, on Friday 9th November. The subjects they tackled ranged widely across the art historical spectrum, from wooden carved ornamentation on a seventeenth-century battleship, to Chagall’s stained-glass, to the hierakosphinxes of Ramesses II, to Walter Gropius’s influence on the design of a London residence, to Rococo paintings of games, to the western influences in the work of Jamil Nasqh. In all, the audiences travelled from 1960s’ Virginia, to the 1940s’ Riviera, via Barberini Rome, sixteenth-century Urbino, post-War Nigeria, and Blair’s Britain.

There were prizes on offer for the best presentations on the night, and they went to Freya Jones (EL U6) on Wednesday for her talk about Francis Bacon’s triptychs, and to Eliza Sinclair (CO U6) for her introduction to satirical pictures by Lucas Cranach. The runners up were Lucy Constable (MM U6), on Storm Thorgerson, and Jude Fry (C2 U6), with his discussion of Jesús Soto.

Our thanks go to Mr Tolputt and Mrs Harris for their enthusiastic engagement, searching questions, and sagacious judgement!

Dr Simon McKeown
Head of History of Art

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