Sir Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough were two of the most spectacular stars of 18th century British painting. Upon a cursory glance of their monumental society portraits, viewers might imagine these two powerhouses of talent, born just four years apart, to have much in common. This could not have been farther from the truth. This lecture and exhibit spotlighting two of the principal artists of Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House, London (on display at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), June 3 - Sept. 3) is an investigation into the nature of environment, choice, power, influence, and determination. We will discuss these great rivals and walk among their masterpieces, with an eye to the eternal questions: Why do we choose one path over another? And just how far will we go to achieve success?
We will meet at The Jung Center for the first night of class and at the MFAH for the second.