"Tuesday 26th September, 6:15pm - Painted Ladies, Iconic Faces - chaired by Dr Claire Brainerd, University of Oxford
MARTIN KEMP on the Mona Lisa
Martin Kemp is one of the world’s leading authorities on Leonardo da Vinci and has published extensively on his life and work. In his new book, MONA LISA: THE PEOPLE AND THE PAINTING, co-authored with Giuseppe Pallanti, he cuts through layers of accumulated myth to reveal a wealth of information about the people and events behind the portrait.
The true story of the Mona Lisa is even more astonishing and transcendent than the legends. It will forever change the way you look at the world’s most famous painting!
KIRSTY STONELL WALKER on Pre-Raphaelite Models, Muses & Mistresses: from bathtubs to asylums – Today any woman with red hair is regarded as pre-Raphaelite but who were the original Pre-Raphaelite muses? Kirsty has spent the last 20 years researching their lives and loves, who they were and what became of them – incarceration or front page news. From mid 19th century to 1920s, they were icons whose lives were as scandalous as the roles they played in paintings.
Kirsty is the author of STUNNER: THE FALL AND RISE OF FANNY CORNFORTH and two novels exploring the Victorian art scene, its murders, lust and secrets; she also writes the intriguingly titled blog The Kissed Mouth."
It was a very enjoyable evening, marred only slightly by someone attempting to be 'Coughing Bob Fleming' (from the comedy show 'The Fast Show') and by a staff member imitating David Bailey and clicking his camera at every opportunity.
I had a chat to Kirsty and introduced myself and we talked about the Pre-Raphaelites and the Brontes (as she was visiting Haworth the following day). She was just as she is on her blog - the same enthusiasm, passion and slight irreverance which makes me laugh. Both of the talks were informative and very interesting (but secretly, I liked Kirsty's best - no surprise there). The book festival has had some stellar names including David Starkey and Alison Weir as well as Janina Ramirez (historian who has presented several BBCTV programmes). It finishes today and I hope it has been very successful.