In Conversation: The Rokeby Venus

Monday 2nd November 6pm

Join National Gallery lecturer Siân Walters and interviewer Peter Cassidy in a live, interactive discussion as we explore Velázquez's Rokeby Venus, one of the most intriguing and popular portrayals of the goddess of love in the history of western art.

What seems to a straightforward painting is actually something of an enigma. It is now one of the most famous paintings in the world, instantly recognizable, and yet a hundred years ago only a handful of people had ever seen it. Velázquez must have used a model, but we don’t know who she is. Nor do we know exactly when or where it was made, nor why the artist chose to disguise her identity. What can the symbols and clues within the painting reveal about its meaning, function and patronage? Together we will examine the history of this intriguing and ever-popular masterpiece in the National Gallery.

The interview will use Zoom Meetings (rather than Webinars) allowing you to participate and ask questions throughout this informal discussion.

This is a live-streamed talk at 6.00pm GMT.  Tune in from anywhere in the world to watch or enjoy a recorded version of the lecture which can be accessed for up to 24 hours afterwards. it will last approximately one hour.


Further Information


1. BOOK.

Click on the gold “Book This Course/Event” button on the right hand side now, fill in the online booking form and pay online. Please use a UK account/card (if you are paying using a non-UK account/card please email us to arrange alternative payment methods). You will be notified automatically by email once your booking has been accepted.

The participation fee is £10 per person, if making bookings for a number of people please provide their email addresses when booking them as separate participants.


Download ZOOM once you have booked - please print/download the instructions in this downloadable link and read them carefully. 


You will receive an email at least 24 hours before the lecture asking you to register.** This is a privacy function enabling only registered participants to attend. After registering you will immediately receive the log in link to the lecture.

** Please note that these details are sent out in office hours, so if you book on a weekend you may not receive them until Monday. You must register with the same name that you have booked under and at least 45 minutes before the lecture begins, otherwise you may not be able to watch. If you have not received your email confirmations, please check your ‘deleted items' and 'junk mail' folders.


Join the lecture at least ten minutes before it is scheduled to start, to ensure everything is working.

If you are not able to watch the lecture at the time it is live-streamed, you can still book online, as above. You will be contacted after the lecture has been broadcast with instructions on how to access the recorded lecture, for up to 24 hours afterwards.You do not need to advise us if you can't participate live, don't worry!

Bookings close the day before the lecture is streamed.

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for booking this event. We regret that we are unable to offer technical support with Zoom but tips can be found in the attachment. If you would like to book more than one event, please book separately for each lecture that you would like to attend, thank you. If you are booking for more than one person, it is important that you include their email address so that we can send them the lecture link too. We regret we are unable to offer refunds but don't worry if you are not able to attend, as we will send you the recorded lecture link.

Image - Velázquez, The Rokeby Venus © The National Gallery London


  • Online, live discussion
  • Informal interview with audience participation
  • Viewable from anywhere in the world
  • Live Q&A afterwards



Booking is now closed.

If you have any questions regarding the course or booking please send us an email

Recommended Reading

Visit the AHF bookstore for a list of recommended books and products to accompany this course/event.


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