barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham


Look out for our term-time lunchtime lecture series. Exploring topics that complement our collections and exhibition programme, these popular illustrated 50-minute lectures take place in the Barber Lecture Theatre.


6 January

Flinck in Focus: A Closer Look

Robert Wenley, Deputy Director & Ruth Bubb, Picture Conservator

Discover what was found during the recent conservation and technical analysis of Govert Flinck’s  Portrait of a Boy. 


20 January

Theme and Variation: The Making of the Bramall Frieze

Peter Randall-Page, Artist

In this insightful lecture artist, Peter Randall-Page, will discuss his working practices, and the inspiration behind the Bramall Music Building’s Frieze – Theme and Variation.


3 February

Fragonard Fantasy Figures: Losing and Finding Identities

Professor Melissa Percival, University of Exeter

There has long been speculation about the real individuals who may have inspired Fragonard’s famous series of fantasy figures (c. 1769), which includes Woman With a Dog. The discovery of an annotated sketch by the artist in 2012 has provided new clues.

But Fragonard’s goal was not to capture an exact resemblance; arguably, his playful and quirky explorations of the human form were most expressive of his own artistic identity.

This talk explores whether and why it matters who his models were.


17 February

Giusto Tenducci: The Castrato and his wife

Professor Helen Berry, University of Newcastle

In the Gallery hangs an iconic portrait by Thomas Gainsborough of a little-known figure from queer history – the 18th-century castrato singer Giusto Ferdinando Tenducci. As part of LGBT History Month, hear more about his extraordinary marriage to Dorothea Maunsell, and learn how his personal life has implications for our understanding of the institution of marriage itself.



















- Michael Glover, The Independent

Learn more

Giovanni Bellini (about 1430 – 1516)

Saint Jerome in the Wilderness


Hippolyte Bellange (1800-1866)

The Entry of Bonaparte into Milan


Domenico Beccafumi (1484 – 1551)

Reclining Nymph (Venus and Cupid)