The Double Life of Caravaggio


The Studio Theatre at RSC The Other Place was buzzing with anticipation on 9th May as Stratford upon Avon Art Society members celebrated their 60th Anniversary with a very special Founders Lecture.  


Celebrated art critic, author, journalist and TV presenter Andrew Graham-Dixon gave a fascinating account of the tempestuous life of 16th century

Italian artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.   Members expecting a dry scholarly lecture were instead treated to a compelling, irreverent journey back in time as Andrew used his archival research to immerse us in the historical intrigues and artistic fashions in Rome at the same time as William Shakespeare was writing his plays in England.


The revered art of the period was in a late Mannerist style typified by Michelangelo in the Sistine chapel.   Remote and spectacular, it was not

designed to be understood by the poor people looking to God for hope in their desperate lives.   Caravaggio broke all the rules and was the first artist to produce arresting, dark and brooding canvases of everyday life which

depicted moments from the Bible that poor people could understand.  

Andrew animatedly described Caravaggio’s painting style as

“make it Real - make it Now”     These pictures have now been accepted as some of the greatest in the history of art and are to be found in the famous art galleries of the world.


Sadly, the lecture had to end before we could hear more of the violent and unpredictable life of this troubled artist which culminated in his early death.


Luckily, the talk was followed by an opportunity to buy signed copies of

Andrew Graham-Dixon’s book, Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane which gives the whole story in great detail.    Many members quickly queued to talk to Andrew and buy copies as souvenirs of this fascinating night.   


Saturday 18th May 2019




Expressing Colour and Light in Pastels (Soft, Chalk based Pastels) with Tim Fisher


Thursday 28th March


Looking At Art


Rembrandt: Portraitist, Storyteller and Landscape Artist


Saturday 16th March




Peter Kotka - Still Life in Oil


Thursday 14th March


Monthly Meeting


Vicki Norman - Landscapes in Oil


Thursday 28th February


Looking At Art


Inspired by Winter Colour



Saturday 16th February          


Claire Botterill - Mixed Media & Doorways


Thursday 14th February

Monthly Meeting

Claire Botterill – Watercolour & Wax Resist


Sunday 27th January


Edward Burne Jones

Art Appreciation Visit at Tate Britain 


Sunday 27th January 


Klimt Art Appreciation Visit at RA


Thursday 17th January


Looking at Art


Burne Jones / Klimt


Thursday 10th January

Monthly Meeting

Peter Keegan – Portraits in Oil


8th November


Peter Kotka

Oil in Still Life


Looking at Art


Thursday 25th October​


The Pre-Raphaelites and Their Women

Saturday 20th October  Andrew Geeson

Watercolour – wet in wet


Monthly Demonstration Meeting


Mixed Media


Claire Henley

Sunday 23rd September 

Woburn Abbey

Great Canaletto Collection


Saturday Workshop


Paul Weaver

Rural Buildings in Watercolour



Monthly Demonstration Meeting


Dry Brush Techniques

Eva Bazhenova




Monthly Demonstration Meeting


Portraits in Oil

Nick Logan


General Workshop


Tom Shepherd – Oils & Acrylics



Art Appreciation Visit


RWA (Royal West Academy) Bristol.


Monthly Demonstration Meeting



Norman Rossitor – Pebeo –

Woodland Scene

Watercolour Workshop


Kathryn Wickson - Autumn Leaves & Berries



Monthly Demonstration Meeting




Max Hale – Water Soluble Oils 

French Café Scene

During the coffee break

Coach trip to the V & A 

Members and friends visit to the V&A. Several people also visited the RA and other galleries.

Demonstration by


Carol Hill – Oil - Landscape



Demonstration by


Vivienne Cawson

‘Contemporary Flowers in Watercolour’



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Demonstration Meeting



 Ronald Swanwick




The images below show the development of the Painting that Ronald demonstrated



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Demonstration Meeting with Nick Logan:

Charcoal Portraits


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Demostration Meeting

David Wilcox 

‘Dancers’ in watercolour




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Demonstration Meeting Trevor Waugh,

Coastal Scenes


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Demonstration Meeting


Paul Arnott:

‘Computer Art, Pigments and Pixels’




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Using Acrylics

  John Somerscales



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Peter Kotka 


Classical Realism with

a Contemporary Image



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Tom Shepherd


 Painting figures using oils




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