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11 February 2019Behind the Veil: The Arts of Islamic Persia
11 March 2019Masquerades, Music Lessons and Monkeys: The world of 18c Porcelain figures
08 April 2019Art on the Road: Painters, Gypsies ad the Circus
13 May 2019Bob the Roman: the Genius of Robert Adam
10 June 2019Adventures and Misadventures in Museums

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Behind the Veil: The Arts of Islamic Persia
John Osborne Monday 11 February 2019

Iran has a sophisticated cultural heritage ignored in the headlines. The main part of the lecture illustrates the development of the spectacular architecture in the mosques and palaces of Persia through the Islamic period, with an emphasis on their brilliant tilework and painting, including the splendid buildings of Shah Abbas' early 17th century Isfahan. Persia’s classic gardens are mentioned, and beautiful examples of manuscript illustration (‘miniatures’) are included. The lecture explains how the Shi'a form of Islam originated and became the ruling creed in the late 20th century Iran of Ayatollah Khomeini. This puts the contemporary politics in the context of the country's fascinating cultural history. 

John Osborne:Graduated in Classics at Cambridge University. Taught Classics at Marlborough College for over thirty years. Worked for the British Council in Iran and Turkey, and lectures in Islamic Civilisation. Tutor, Marlborough College Summer School. Lecturer, Department of Continuing Education, University of Bath. Guide at Salisbury Cathedral. Lecturer on cruises and leader of numerous study tours to Bulgaria, Romania, Iran, and Turkey and other countries in S.E. Europe and the Mediterranean. Lecture tours of Australia (twice) and New Zealand.