Your ticket includes a lecture by our special guest Dr Matthew Martin, and an afternoon tea of petit fours and tea or Market Lane coffee, served on our delightful Wedgwood fine bone china.
Grand dining in eighteenth-century Europe was less an occasion concerned with taking sustenance than it was a public ceremonial calculated to project rank and power. What one ate, and how one ate it, could be charged with political symbolism.
In the eighteenth century, the most spectacular component of a formal meal was the concluding dessert, an opportunity for highly programmed theatrical displays. Two materials in particular shaped the appearance and the meaning of the eighteenth-century dessert table: European porcelain, mastered for the first time in Dresden in 1709, and cane sugar, sourced from plantations in the Americas.
This lecture will explore the shifting appearance and meaning of the formal dessert in eighteenth-century Europe.
DR MATTHEW MARTIN is Senior Lecturer in Arts History and Curatorship in the University of Melbourne. From 2006 to 2013 he was a curator of decorative arts in the National Gallery of Victoria. His research focusses on the role of porcelain in eighteenth-century European court culture.
This lecture is presented on-site at TJC. Please see your ticket for details. NOTE: Tickets for this event do not include access to our exhibition-house, Fairhall. Guided tours of the current exhibition 'A Home of One's Own' can be booked separately.
This special event is supported The Friends of TJC.
image | Wedding banquet of Joseph II and Isabella of Parma, 1763, Martin van Meytens (1695-1770), oil on canvas, 300cm x 400cm, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna (detail and full painting)