Decoding Art | Performing Arts Theater



UNDERSTANDING ART  is a lecture series by Barbara Falletta. She is an educator, artist and writer, and holds three graduate degrees including a master’s of art history, doctor of education and education specialist. Join us for an eye-opening experience filled with beauty and joy as we celebrate the work of these talented artists.


2015-2016 ARTS SEASON


“The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp” – Rembrandt van Rijn



Performing Arts Theater Show 1 | The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp

Friday, Oct. 23, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Why did this Dutch master decide to use a gruesome subject such as a   dissection of a cadaver as a theme for a group portrait? Why were the Dutch of   the seventeenth century fascinated with such subjects? What was public dissection and surgery of the human body like during that period? These and other questions will be answered as we enter the often dark world of art, the culture in which it grew, and the artist’s mind.





“The Birth of Venus” – Botticelli



Performing Arts Theater Show 2 The Birth of Venus by Botticelli 

Friday, Dec. 11, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Unlike many of his Renaissance contemporaries who were churning out religious art, Botticelli preferred to produce secular paintings of ancient mythological subjects. The title that has been given to this painting implies that it’s an image of the Goddess of Love, born of sea foam, and floating ashore on a scallop shell. But is that what Botticelli intended to represent? We’ll attempt to find out as we examine this beautiful painting and consider the environment in which it was created.



“The Tempest” – Giorgione




Performing Arts Theater Show 3 The Tempest by Giorgione

Friday, Feb. 12, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Over the past five centuries, there have been thirty to forty suggestions made as to the meaning of this illusive painting. Today, about five stand out. Is it a reference to the Garden of Eden and a warning to us all to head the word of God? Is it an allegory from ancient Greek mythology about Zeus, the father of all the Gods, and his insatiable lust for Venus, Goddess of Love? Or is it simply an image of a gypsy woman nursing her child and being observed by a soldier while she does so? Whatever its meaning, this magnificent example of sixteenth century Venetian painting deserves a closer look.




“Mona Lisa” – Leonardo da Vinci



Performing Arts Theater Show 4 Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci

Friday, April 8, 2016 at 2:00 pm

The painting of the lady with a mysterious smile was first made famous in 1850 as an image of a femme fatale, or “dangerous woman.” Then, in 1911, the painting became a pop culture icon after a heist captured the world’s attention. Who was Mona Lisa? What famous French emperor was so enamored by her image that he stole the painting and kept it in his bedroom for months? It’s time to examine this infamous painting with twenty-first century eyes and discover if what we know about it is fact or fiction.




“Luncheon on the Grass” – Edouard Manet



Performing Arts Theater Show 5 Luncheon on the Grass by Edouard Manet

Friday, June 3, 2016 at 2:00 pm

In 1863, this famous painter caused an uproar among the French art-viewing community. It caused a scandal, but the story behind it proved to be even more scandalous. It was rejected by the Salon, but it was accepted to be shown in the Salon de Refuse (“Salon of the Rejected Ones”). Today, it holds the honored position of being the impetus behind the great movement in art called impressionism.






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