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The First Kiss

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Nick Trend

Saturday 7th October 15:20 - 16:20 | Ballroom

The story of art doesn’t have to be all about art-historical ‘isms’ and complex academic debate. It often revolves around some very simple firsts. The first time an artist painted his, or her, self-portrait, the first representation of a smile, the first real place to be depicted, the first feminist artwork, the first to take a stance against the evils of war.

 Nick Trend’s new book Art Firsts focuses on 30 of these ground-breaking creative leaps in western painting. It pieces together a highly original approach to discussing and understanding some of the world’s most famous paintings and highlighting their importance as moments of innovation. It explains how and why these breakthroughs happened and it offers fresh insights into the works themselves and the impact they have had on later artists.

The book makes striking links between, for example, the work of Giotto in 1300, Michelangelo in 1500 and Banksy’s provocative 21st-century graffiti; between Botticelli and Jeff Koons; Artemisia Gentileschi and Lucian Freud.

It is a refreshing and fascinating narrative – a new way of looking at paintings, aimed at those who want to understand more about some of art’s great ‘masterpieces’ and the flashes of brilliance that inspired them.

For his talk, Trend will discuss five of his favourite firsts – including the first kiss, the first erotic nude and the first abstract picture – all seminal paintings which have changed the way we think about art.



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