This course centres on The Society of Dilettanti – an eighteenth-century gentleman’s club – and their famous publication of The Antiquities of Athens in 1762. Whilst this laid the groundwork for the development of archaeology as a serious scholarly discipline, it also exerted a profound influence on the garden temples of the Georgian landscape garden. The Grand Tour with its ancient ruins, sun-drenched landscapes and must-see works of art became an educational rite of passage for the classically trained. This lecture considers how the Dilettanti embodied their motto of ‘Grecian taste and Roman Spirit’ in both the literal sense of worshiping Dionysus and Bacchus through heavy drinking, as well as by continental travel and the scholarly promotion of antiquity. Glass of punch optional.
Laura Mayer is an independent lecturer and researcher. She holds an MA in Garden History and a PhD on eighteenth-century architecture and landscape design. Laura has worked on conservation projects for the National Trust, taught on academic courses and led groups around some of England’s most famous estates, including Highclere Castle, the setting for Downton Abbey. She has also published extensively, most notably on Capability Brown, and Humphry Repton.
Please note this is an online course. No specialist software is required to participate, but a device with a microphone and webcam will be needed. Full joining instructions will be emailed a few days before the date of the course.
This is a live interactive course, and will not be made available as a recording to watch at a later date.
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