Lecture | Artist, Actress, Lover Johan Zoffany’s Portrait of Elizabeth Farren as Hermione in Shakespeare’s ‘A Winter’s Tale’ (c.1780) – Vivien Gaston

Zoffany's portrait of Elizabeth Farren

Johann Zoffany, ‘Elizabeth Farren as Hermione in The Winter’s Tale’(c. 1780). National Gallery of Victoria, Everard Studley Miller Bequest.

Rae Alexander Lecture 2016

Zoffany’s Portrait of Elizabeth Farren as Hermione in Shakespeare’s ‘A Winter’s Tale’ in the NGV depicts one of the most striking scenes in all of Shakespeare’s plays, the moment when Hermione is returned to life.

Vivien Gaston’s lecture will probe the work’s context in the life of the artist, the sitter and its owner and reveal the way a portrait can shape and direct the aspirations of all three.

Celebrating Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary, the lecture will also show the continued impact of his plays and the nature of portraits as role-playing and performance.

The Rae Alexander Lecture is named in honour of the first president of the La Trobe Art History Chapter. Proceeds from ticket sales help support scholarships and prizes awarded by the chapter to La Trobe students.


Dr Vivien Gaston is an Australia Research Council Senior Research Fellow in the School of Culture and Communication, The University of Melbourne, working on portraits in the National Gallery of Victoria.

She is regularly invited to give lectures at the University of Melbourne and La Trobe University and to give interviews to press, radio and television. She was a lecturer in the history of art at Monash University (1998-2005) and the University of Melbourne (1997-1998). She curated The Naked Face: self-portraits, National Gallery of Victoria (2010-2011) and Controversy: the power of art, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery (2012). Her publications include The Naked Face: self-portraits, National Gallery of Victoria, 2010 and articles on subjects ranging from 16th-century Italian painting to 18th, 19th and 20th-century portraits.

Venue: Clemenger Auditorium, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne

Date: Thursday 17 November 2016 06:00 pm

Contact: Cristin Wilkinson, Senior Alumni Relations Officer, alumni@latrobe.edu.au

Cost: Standard $35, Art History Chapter members and NGV members $30, Concession $33, Student $20

Book here: http://www.latrobe.edu.au/events/all/rae-alexander-lecture-2016

Presented by La Trobe University Art History Alumni Chapter


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