Chiltern Hills Area Study Days 2017

West Meets East: the Allure of the Orient in European Art, Culture and Civilisation

Three Study Days with Anne Haworth

Study Day 1 The Silk Road and the Sea: Europe's Gateways to the Treasures of the East

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Lecture 1: A general chronology of mercantile exchanges between East and West, commencing with the Silk Road and progressing into the Middle Ages with the reported visit of Marco Polo and the history of Medieval merchants and the subsequent developing trade routes from the Middle East through the Eastern Mediterranean and on to countries across Europe. This history will then move on to the Levant Company, the great Age of Discovery and the Portuguese Voyages to the East followed by the Dutch and English East India Companies. This subject is fascinating in its own right but it will also create the framework for the lectures to follow. Commodity Imports such as tea, coffee and chocolate will be touched on and referred to again in a later lecture.

Lecture 2: A focus on luxury products traded from the East in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance including silk, ivory, shells, ultramarine pigments, precious stones rock crystal, early porcelain, jewels etc.

Lecture 3: The Merchants of Venice The subject extends to spices, aromatics and rare woods with a focus on the city of Venice as the great intermediary for trade between East and West. This will go into more detail than in lecture 1 and will also look at Venetian architecture, and consider both the effect of spices on Venetian cuisine and also luxury crafts created in Venice using materials and designs imported from the East.

Study Day 2 Precious Cargoes from the East

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Lecture 1: The East India Companies: Portuguese, Dutch, British. A brief history of the Portuguese, Dutch and British East Indian Companies and their developing trade in the East, exemplified in detail by the export porcelain trade from China.

Lecture 2: The 17th century trade with Japan by the Portuguese and then the Dutch with a detailed look at prized lacquer luxuries and kakiemon and imari porcelains, including the processes of how they were made.

Lecture 3: Turning to India, A celebration of Indian fabrics from chintz used both in costume and in home decoration, the fashion in pashmina shawls and muslin in the neo-classical period. As well as textiles we will cover Goanese luxuries, diamonds and other gems, and the story of Jean-Baptiste Tavernier.

Study Day 3 Orientalism and the European Imagination

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Lecture 1: 17th and 18th century Chinoiserie which draws in all elements from day 2 but which adds wallpaper, later Chinese silks and general exotica together with the European response with their own fantastic and exaggerated porcelains.

Lecture 2: the late Victorian Aesthetic Movement and Japonism, the paintings of James McNeil Whistler, furniture of E W Godwin, silver of Christopher Dresser, jewellery from Paris, the influence of prints on the Impressionists, the great exhibitions such as Philadelphia which included Japanese artefacts, Japanese designs for the House Beautiful, the Peacock Room, Oscar Wilde, and tastes and fashions of the period.

Lecture 3: This will focus on couture and jewellery (such as the Indian designs of Cartier) and will look at the inspiration of Japan, the exoticism of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and Middle Eastern fantasies derived from the Arabian Nights and Scheherezade. Couturiers include Liberty and kimonos, Paul Poiret, the Callot Soeurs (to an extent) and the impact on Art Deco. Anne concludes with the fascinating subject of the 1950s to 1970s with Bohemian styles that the audience will recognise, the hippy trail to Afghanistan, India and Marrakesh. Included will be some amazing fashion images from editions of Vogue magazines from this period.

Venue: The Hub, Easton Street, High Wycombe HP11 1NJ - Click here for directions.

Time: 10.30am - 3.30pm (coffee from 10.00am)

Cost: £30 per Study Day (includes coffee, biscuits and a light lunch)

NB Open to both NADFAS members and non-members.

BOOKING: Contact Lisa Green, Tel: 01494 521750,
Email: Or send s.a.e to 26, Brands Hill Avenue, High Wycombe HP13 5QA