‘The Smile – a revolution in Western Art’ by Julian O’Neill

A talk on ‘The Smile – a revolution in Western Art’ given by Harringworth resident and local Orthodontist, Julian O’Neill on Friday 19 May at 7pm. The evening will take place in the splendid setting of St John the Baptist Church, Harringworth and will include Richard Lambert performing a medley of pieces on the organ and Cheese and Wine; tickets £10 each with proceeds in aid of the Harringworth Appeals Fund. 

Smiling – for the camera, the screen or the website is how 21st century man and woman want to be depicted. This was not always the case. From the Renaissance until the eighteenth century, wealthy and powerful men have commissioned artists to portray them, their wives, lovers and families. These portraits seldom, if ever, depicted a smile. There were, however some rare exceptions.

This was all to change in late 18th century Paris. The new professionalism of dentistry and a singularly brave female painter were to change this dramatically. This artistic revolution was, however, to be succeeded by a more fundamental and nation – changing political one. The smile was again to disappear and not re-emerge for another century with the advent of photography.

Julian O’Neill is a Consultant Orthodontist, working at Kettering General Hospital. He is originally from Northern Ireland, but did his postgraduate training in London and Oxford before coming with his family to live in Harringworth around 23 years ago.

As his job entails dealing with faces and smiles, he has combined this professional interest with a curiosity for the depiction of the human face in art. On his various travels, he likes to search for unusual portraits and try to find some of the stories behind them.

Thus, a somewhat quirky interest has resulted in this talk, which has already been presented to professional orthodontic meetings and congresses as far afield as Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria and Italy.

Tickets are available from Philippa Gasson on 01572 747700 or completion of the form below: