Constantinople, late 19th century

BRIDFAS Programme

Past and Current events

< Season 2015/2016 >

The Role of the Royal Mistress in History

Caroline Rayman - 16.09.2015 - 19:30

Location Parkhotel Osnabrück, Edinghausen 1, 49076 Osnabrück

Doors open at 7.00pm

This is a talk about the power and influence of the royal favourite through the ages. The importance of these ladies and their influence on the political and social life of their times is often portrayed in the paintings they inspired. Nell Gwyn, famous mistress of Charles II, is here shown in a portrait by Simon Verelst (1644-1710/1717) in the National Portrait Gallery.
The role of Royal Mistresses will be discussed and evaluated from Fair Rosamund Clifford in the 12th century to the more recent companions of the 20th century.

The Mona Lisa Mystery: The mystic surrounding the theft of Leonardo da Vinci

Malcom Kenwood - 07.10.2015 - 19:30

Location Parkhotel Osnabrück, Edinghausen 1, 49076 Osnabrück

Doors open at 7.00pm

The history of the Mona Lisa is shrouded in mystery. Today aspects remain unclear, the exact identity of the sitter, who commissioned the portrait, how long Leonardo worked on the painting, how long he kept it, and how it came to be in the French royal collection.

The focus of this lecture however, examines the events in 1911 when the proud city of Paris and the entire cultural world went into shock. On Monday 21 August the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre.

20th and 21st Century British Portraiture

Elizabeth Strang - 11.11.2015 - 19:30

Location Parkhotel Osnabrück, Edinghausen 1, 49076 Osnabrück

Doors open at 7.00pm

The 20th century was a rich period for British Portraiture, with painters such as Lucien Freud and David Hockney. We look at some portraits where the artist has a personal connection with the sitter. There are also some revealing self-portraits, a foray into photography and digital work. The lecture ends with a reassuring look at contemporary portraiture, which shows skills that hardly changed since Dürer.

Christmas Carol Service

no lecture - 02.12.2015 - 17:00

Location Alte Holter Kirche, 49143 Bissendorf

To carry on a tradition in our Bridfas society  Christmas Carol Service will be held at St. Urbanus in Bissendorf-Holte

An Island of Nations - a note

John Batty - 20.01.2016 - 19:30

Doors open at 7.00pm

An illustrated lecture in English given by our member John Batty,  which looks at the beginnings of Great Britain, from the earliest days of Roman Invasion, through the Norman Conquest to the modern day Monarchy. It looks specifically at the constituent parts of the United Kingdom, noting the diversity of the various national traits, the topography and countryside in its historic context, and the instruments of state that formed the unity of the individual nations into the present United Kingdom. The lecture also examines the magnificent coast of Great Britain telling the history of some of the islands from the invasions of the Vikings and the lasting effect they have had on the make-up of the population, the practices of trade, agriculture and tradition. It is very much a personal view, with tongue-in-cheek quotations from historic personalities of what it means to be ‘British’, and what British people say about themselves in an endeavor to encapsulate what, it is to be ‘British’.

The Phoenix at the Fall of Empire: Three Empresses of China and the Fate of the Imperial Art Collection.

Anne Haworth - 10.02.2016 - 19:30

Location Parkhotel Osnabrück, Edinghausen 1, 49076 Osnabrück

 Doors open at 7.00pm

In Ancient China, the phoenix, a bird of myth and legend, symbolised the Empress, consort to the Dragon Emperor. The lecture focuses on three Empresses who lived in the Forbidden City from the 18th Century to the end of Empire in 1911. Empress Xiaoxian was consort to the Qianlong Emperor, one of China’s greatest art collectors. The formidable Dowager Empress Cixi ruled the Empire ‘from behind the curtain’ during the 19th Century. Empress Wanrong, known as Elizabeth, married Puyi, the last Emperor of China. She was beautiful and received a Western education yet died an opium addict in war-torn China.
Their history reaches back to a golden age of art patronage and expansion of the vast Imperial collection, through the opium wars and twilight days of Empire, to the Warlord era of the 20th century, when the art collection was plundered by Palace eunuchs.
In this lecture, the phoenix is also the Imperial art collection itself, which was reborn from the ashes of Empire and civil war. After the 1949 Communist victory, Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek and his charismatic Shanghainese wife, Soong May Ling, described as China’s ‘Last Empress’, brought thousands of crates of treasures to Taiwan.
The former Imperial collection is now housed in China, Taiwan and in museums and private collections in the West.

Charles Dickens - The Man & his Life through his Characters

Bertie Pearce - 16.03.2016 - 19:30

Location Parkhotel Osnabrück, Edinghausen 1, 49076 Osnabrück

Doors open at 7.00pm

Charles John Huffam Dickens brought into the world a staggering array of wonderful characters with orphans, starving children, misers, murderers and abusive school teachers among them. People such as Mr Mcawber, Fagin and Abel Magwitch remain in one’s literary psyche long after the books are put down.
Largely self-educated, Dickens possessed the genius to become the greatest writer of his age with 15 major novels and countless short stories and articles.
In his lecture Bertie Pearce looks at the life and places of Dickens through his characters. The talk is interspersed with readings of his works. A truly Dickensian experience.

Turkey: from Constantinople to Istanbul

John Osborne - 20.04.2016 - 19:30

Location Parkhotel Osnabrück, Edinghausen 1, 49076 Osnabrück

Doors open at 7.00pm

The first part of this lecture illustrates the Greco-Roman period: there is a profusion of sites, including the prehistoric site of Troy and the Classical sites of Pergamum and Ephesus, where there are spectacular and extensive remains.
The second part takes us to Istanbul, the capital of two consecutive empires. As Constantinople, it was the capital of the Byzantine Empire until 1453 and from this period there remain Justinian’s great Cathedral, Ayia Sophia, and the Church of St Saviour in Chora, the Kariye Cami, each with outstanding medieval mosaics, and the Hippodrome. The Sultans of the subsequent Ottoman Empire inhabited the fascinating Topkapi Palace for 400 years and built imposing mosques, including the great complexes of the Sulemaniye and the Blue Mosque of Sultan Ahmet.
Some 20th century history is then touched on: the Allied landings at Gallipoli in the First World War, stymied by heroic Turkish defence, and Ataturk’s extraordinary achievement in creating the modern Turkish state.

May Outing 2016

no lecturer - 10.05.2016 - 08:00

A Day out at Schloss Anholt

Sorry, for members only

AGM followed by "A Passion for Piers: a Delightful Look at the History of Piers"

Jackie Marsh-Hobbs - 15.06.2016 - 19:00

Location Parkhotel Osnabrück, Edinghausen 1, 49076 Osnabrück

Doors open 5.30pm, AGM 6.00pm

Lecture starts at 7.30pm

A delightfully entertaining look at the history of pleasure piers covering just over 200 years, from the first pier in the Regency period up to the present day.
Almost 100 pleasure piers were built around the British coastline, diverse in design and some crowned with exotic palaces or pavilions. These elegant structures bear witness to the remarkable skills of the Victorian engineers and are an important part of social history symbolizing the nation’s love of days out and summer holidays at seaside resorts.
This is a celebration covering the heyday of piers, how generations have enjoyed the fresh air and sea views, been captivated by the amusements and entertained by a variety of artists. The incredible stories of the surviving piers, whether they are successful flourishing or sadly in trouble, their future and the ongoing struggle to keep them.