The Athenaeum presents various series of art and music lectures, including topics in classical music and jazz, visual art, art history, and architecture, with speakers from San Diego and beyond.
Art and Music of the Baroque: From Ecstasy to Enlightenment
March 17: 1580–1620 in Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands
In the course of a century, a dramatic stylistic metamorphosis took place. New visual and musical ideas, at first stated with objective clarity, were transformed by powerful emotions, sustained through dramatic intentions, and finally executed on a grander and more powerful scale, which eventually was formalized, becoming more dogmatic. The art of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Guido Reni, and Pietro da Cortona was matched by the music of Claudio Monteverdi, Dario Castello, Girolamo Frescobaldi, and others.
The Dutch confederation was one of the most progressive and tolerant nations in the 17th century. Rembrandt is the greatest artist to represent the rise of the individual in an environment dominated by religious fervor. His countryman, the blind organist Jakob van Eyck, absorbed the popular music of England and the European continent, transforming simple melodies into complex and elaborate sets of variations. Van Eyck’s source material for his music reflects the configuration of Europe during that time, divided by powerful religious, social, economic, and political differences.
April 7: 1650–1700 in France and Germany
April 14: 1680–1750 in Europe
Stories Mona Lisa Could Tell: Fascinating Tales of the Lives of Famous Artworks
Where did Mona Lisa hang after Leonardo da Vinci brushed the last dab of paint on her enigmatic face? How did she come to be in the Louvre? Why was she stolen in 1911 and how was she recovered? What happened to her during World War II? The answers to these questions may not be readily known to the casual observer, yet they form the fascinating life story of perhaps the world’s most famous painting. Every work of art has a similar history of past ownership and events affecting its condition, appearance and accessibility, which often reads like a detective story. Join art historian James Grebl for a four-part lecture series that explores an intriguing array of these art history tales, often revealing astonishing episodes of lust, greed, crime, misadventure and tragedy.
May 14: Heist of the Century
May 21: A King Beheaded
May 28: A Smuggled Goddess
June 11: A Gift Fit for the Gods