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DateLecture
08 May 2019The Wilton Diptych Enigma
10 April 2019Charles Dickens - The man and his life through his characters
13 March 2019The Huguenot Silk Weavers of Spitalfields: from Riches to Rags
13 February 2019Inspired by Stonehenge
09 January 2019A Second Blast from the Past
12 December 2018The Christmas Story: paintings of the Nativity
14 November 2018The role of the arts in the cycle of crime, prison and re-offending
10 October 2018A Personal Heaven; Stanley Spenser
12 September 2018Vivaldi in Venice
13 June 2018Adventures in three dimensions: 20th Century sculpture in Britain
09 May 2018Posters of the Belle Epoque, the Great Age of the Poster
11 April 2018Getting under their skins: finding character and story in Renaissance art
14 March 2018Thomas Heatherwick: The Leonardo da Vinci of our times
14 February 2018Rescuing Zeugma from the floodwaters of the Euphrates
10 January 2018The making of Landscape Photographs
13 December 2017St Nicholas of Myra and Santa Claus
08 November 2017The Art and Meaning of Maps
11 October 2017Children's Book Illustrations
13 September 2017James Gillray
14 June 2017Britain with Betjeman - his architectural opinions
10 May 2017Meet me at the Waldorf
12 April 2017Medieval Illuminated Bestiaries
08 March 2017The Art of Piero della Francesca - the light of the North meets the logic of the South
08 February 2017The Phoenix at the Fall of Empire
11 January 2017Men Behaving Badly
14 December 2016A Blast from the Past
09 November 2016Giotto - the Father of Modern Art
12 October 2016Life and Times of the Sundial - civilisation's most enduring timekeeper
14 September 2016L S Lowry - a close look at a Visionary Artist
08 June 2016Legend and Lustre - Jim Thompson and Thai Silk
11 May 2016Love and Loss - Orpheus and Eurydice in art and music
13 April 2016Beautiful Beastly and Bizarre - the art of Hieronymous Bosch
09 March 2016Revolutionary Russia - the avant-garde and visual Russia
10 February 2016Hatshepsut - Portrait of a Female Pharaoh
13 January 2016Three Great Families and their Gardens
09 December 2015Sing we Yule - a musical portrait of a medieval Christmas
11 November 2015The British Portrait: - Hogarth to Hockney
14 October 2015The Art of Waterloo
09 September 2015The Elizabethan and Jacobean Country House - architectural style and interior decoration
10 June 2015Behind the Veil: the Arts of Islamic Persia
13 May 2015The Foundations of Fashion
08 April 2015Catherine the Great and her Treasures
11 March 2015Antonio Gaudi
11 February 2015Summer in February - the story, the artists and the film
14 January 2015Constable: the Great Landscapes
10 December 2014A History of Christmas Cards, Valentine Cards and Postcards
12 November 2014The Butterfly on the Lagoon: Whistler in Venice
08 October 2014The Art of Seduction
10 September 2014Picasso and his Women
11 June 2014Tribal Rugs - Treasures of the Black Tent
07 May 2014Power, Propaganda and Men in Tights: Tudor Art
09 April 2014Turner in the West Country
12 March 2014Fine Art Forgery - Craftsmanship or Conjuring Trick?
12 February 2014One Architect, Two Temples, Three Museums:
08 January 2014Cornwall's stained glass Crown Jewels
11 December 2013Merrily on High - The history of the English Christmas Carol
13 November 2013Mrs Beeton Presents...
09 October 2013Are You Sitting Comfortably? The history of the chair from ancient to modern times
11 September 2013Klimt and the Viennese Secession - A Kiss for all the World
12 June 2013Marc Chagall, Wandering Jew or Citizen of the World?
08 May 2013Life and Art of Marianne North
10 April 2013Wonder Workers and the Art of Illusion
13 March 2013To Hell and Back - Painted Church Interiors
13 February 2013True Colour?
09 January 2013Don’t Make Fun of the Festival Art
12 December 2012Prelude to Christmas: a celebration of Advent and Christmas
14 March 2012The symbolism of flowers in art
08 February 2012Photographic Odyssey:Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition captured on camera
11 January 2012John Opie – the Cornish Wonder

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The Wilton Diptych Enigma Leslie Primo Wednesday 08 May 2019

Ever since the mysterious double panel painting known as the Wilton Diptych was acquired for the National Gallery in 1929, speculations regarding its origins have been rife, because although many discoveries have been made regarding its subject, we are still non-the-wiser regarding its origins. Who are the characters in this painting?  What are they trying to tell us? What can this painting tell us about England or for that matter Europe at the turn of the 15th century?  For what purpose was this enigmatic painting made, and why it has come to represent the quintessential example of a style of painting we have come to call International Gothic? 

Leslie Primo

Leslie holds a BA in Art History and an MA in Renaissance Studies from Birkbeck College, University of London. He was Visiting Lecturer in Art History at the University of Reading in 2005 and 2007, and gives lectures and guided tours, plus special talks, at both the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. He also lectures at the City Literary Institute, and has presented a series of talks at the National Maritime Museum and the Courtauld Institute.

Through the lens of the Wilton Diptych this lecture will look at Medieval England, patronage, saints and kingship, and also unearth the many hidden signs and symbols in this painting that have been slowly revealing themselves to us over the past 80 years or so with detailed close-up, looking at the physical material of the painting to bring to life not only the Wilton Diptych, but also the time in which it was made.