velasquez ‘The Rokeby Venus’ by Velazquez. Slashed with a meat cleaver by the suffragette Mary Richardson in 1914

‘Art Attack’ – A History of Vandalism in Art

This talk looks at works of art which have been vandalized since Renaiassance times, and the reasons behind these ‘criminal acts’. It is divided into three sections – ‘Political Motivations’, ‘Mad Attacks’ and ‘Artist Attacks’. Though a serious and at times, disturbing subject, it does contain a good dose of humour! Richly illustrated it includes the ‘suffragette slashings’ of the ‘Rokeby Venus’ and ‘Portrait of Henry Lamb’, the Messiah-possessed geologist’s hammer attack on ‘Michelangelo’s Pieta’, the explosion of the Buddhas of Bamiyan by the Taliban and surprisingly, examples of artist’s own acts of vandalism such as the Chapman Brothers’ ‘improvements’ on their Goya etchings, the 2012 ‘Yellowist’ attack on a valuable Mark Rothko in the Tate Modern and Bansky’s 2018 auction ‘shredding’.

A one hour talk followed by questions if desired. COST: £70 + travel expenses.