The Barn Lectures

Classes based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire covering
Art History, and Appreciation of Art and Architecture

Tel: 01242 862 818

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Hello Everyone,
Here we are, locked down again in the New Year.  I hope you are all still well and not suffering too much from the lack of meeting up with friends and family, and the general anxiety that we are all experiencing.  We’ve been self-isolating as one of us had covid symptoms, yet again, and we had to wait for the test results to come back, which fortunately were negative.
I’ve done another talk for on YouTube, on Roman mosaics, which are so skilful and beautiful.  The link is here.  I’m intending to continue doing these talks, so Keep an eye on the website, or click on subscribe when you’re on my YouTube video, and it will alert you when I’ve done another one.
Love Fran.


Hello Everyone,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I’m not sure about the merry bit, given the current circumstances, but definitely the Happy New Year part, with healthy and peaceful adjectives also.

I hope you are all keeping well, and that you can cope with the restrictions we are facing for this Christmas and afterwards, and do take care until we manage to get our immunizations and things ease up a bit. We are all well so far, though baby Sammy keeps getting mild colds, as toddlers will, and as my daughter in law is an occupational therapist there are endless covid tests so that she can continue to go to work. All negative so far………………………………..

Apologies, but I haven’t yet managed to record the next of my art history videos, but be assured that I have neither forgotten it, nor given up. I’ve been strangely busy considering we’re not allowed to do much, but walking and reading take up quite a lot of time, along with general lockdown lethargy and a lack of deadlines for anything at all. It will be done eventually.

I did design and draw a Christmas card for you, though, but my whole family say it’s impossible to understand, so I’m going to have to give you an explanation of its strange iconography. The lady is a Greek/Roman nymph based on ancient classical sculpture. Zeus is a god who keeps changing himself into various animals and birds (and even a shower of gold) to have his way with the ladies (and also Ganymede, who was not a lady). We have evidence of this as many great painters showed us the scenes; think of Leda and the swan, Europa and the bull, etc. etc. It being Christmas he turns himself into a robin, but our nymph cannot hide her disappointment and would like a super hero instead.

Hence Batman and Robin, and the nymph.

I also did you a jolly snowman card.

Both are attached. Here’s a link which shows you a few of Zeus’s misdemeanours, but alas no robin.

The BBC have done these amazing programs where they discuss a work of art in great detail, and the link is below. Click on the title of the picture first, then scroll down and click on the high resolution image before you start listening, so you can see what they’re talking about, and zoom in.

I am aware that a few people are not receiving my emails to you all, so if this lands in your inbox, could you please check with any art history friends, that they have also seen it.

With much love and good wishes,




To contact us-
Tel: (01242) 862818