- What’s On
The 25th Levantine Heritage Foundation dinner gathering in London will feature Haydn Williams, author of the book Turquerie: An Eighteenth-Century European Fantasy, as its guest speaker (William Kynan-Wilson reviewed the book in Issue 53). With the arrival of Ottoman embassies and their elaborate entourages at the courts of Europe in the early eighteenth century, a fascination with all things Turkish took hold among royalty and aristocracy that lasted until the French Revolution. Turbaned figures appeared in paintings, as ceramic figures, and on the stage; tented boudoirs became the rage; and crossed crescents, palm trees, and camels featured on wall panels, furniture, and enamel boxes.
Haydn Williams, an expert on the decorative arts, shows how it was a theme that sparked varied responses in different places. Its most intense and long-lasting expression was in France, but its reach was broad – from a pavilion built by Catherine II in Russia to the Turkish tents erected along the Elbe to celebrate a royal marriage in Dresden in 1719; from an ivory statuette of a janissary created for King Augustus II of Poland to the costumes worn for a carnival celebration in Rome in 1748.
The talk is free, and guests have the option of joining just for the lecture, or additionally for the dinner afterwards. The aim is to connect again with friends near and far, welcome new friends to the network, and discuss future plans for the Foundation.
A reminder that the dress code for the Royal Thames Yacht Club is strict, men must wear jacket and tie.