Candidate Profile

Provided by

History - Art & Culture
Adrian Sumner has lectured extensively worldwide, including in Italy, Russia, Germany and Spain for 35 years , and on cruise ships for the past 20.
He offers a wide choice of lectures (over 120) suitable for most areas of the world, and is regarded as a popular, entertaining and informative speaker with an encyclopedic knowledge of all aspects of the Visual Arts and Architecture.

He is an Accredited Lecturer for the Arts Society(formerly NADFAS), and has lectured regularly for the National Trust, the Art Fund, WEA and the Grosvenor Museum Chester as well as a range of National Museums.
He has lectured on the History of Art for the University of Liverpool, and has led lecture tours to Paris, Glasgow, Prague, Amsterdam, Florence, Pisa, Venice, Bruges, New York, Cologne,Vienna and many other great cities.

A graduate of Liverpool College of Art, Adrian has worked as an illustrator, Arts Development Officer and Lecturer in various academic and public institutions, and continues to paint and exhibit widely.

Below is a selection of some of his work:

Baltic Art Lectures (Sample)

1. Northern Lights—the visionary art of Edvard Munch
This Slide lecture examines the work of Edvard Munch, the tormented Norwegian soul who inspired a whole generation of European Expressionist artists--- magically transforming base human suffering into gold. We also look at the Scandinavian artworld which provoked Munch into action as well as the young artists (eg Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoshka, Georg Grosz, Otto Dix, and many more), who followed his lead. This artist’s meteoric life lit up the North as Vincent Van Gogh did the rest of Europe.

2. Nordic landscape.
A closer look at the special character of the varied Nordic landscapes and the many gifted painters(and photographers) who have made exploration of these landscapes their life's work.

3. Art Treasures of the Hermitage
In 1765 Catherine the Great began a collection of artworks which, today, is one of the greatest in the world. This slide lecture looks at the finest treasures from the greatest artists who ever lived, including Titian, Leonardo, Raphael, Rubens, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Fra Angelico and Velasquez, to name but a few. We also search out some hidden gems the whistle-stop tours often miss, as the backwaters of this incredible building are as fascinating as its main galleries (if you know where to look).
Naturally we look at that most fascinating of artists, Carl Faberge, and the marvels he created for the Romanovs, the Russian Imperial family (eggs are only the start of it).

4. Impressionists at the Hermitage
A visual feast, touring the Hermitage’ unrivalled collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, some of the most ravishing pictures ever painted, assembled by a generation of newly-rich (lets face it, ‘nouveau-riche’), but inspired, collectors. From Gauguin and Van Gogh to Matisse and Cezanne, from Monet and Renoir to Rose-period Picasso, from Douanier Rousseau to Pierre Bonnard, this collection will seduce you.

5. Revolution—Russian Art from Icon to Red Square, and back again.
The Avante-garde art of the Russian Revolutionary period came as a tremendous shock to a collapsing system; but it didn’t last for long. Quickly replaced by Stalin’s ‘Socialist Realism’, Modern Art and Artists were systematically ‘disappeared’ to be replaced by Official Painters, happy to glorify the ‘Party’ , its Leaders, and the heroic Proletariat. This slide lecture looks at the gorgeous mosaic of Russian art, with its Icons, its 19th Century storytellers(the Wanderers), its Art Nouveau fantasists(Mikhail Vrubel), its exotics(Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes with its great and wilful designer, Leon Bakst), as well as the many facets of Russian Modernism and the surprising richness of ‘Totalitarian’ art. Made to make your mouth water.

Mediterranean lectures

1. The Mediterranean
A tour around the art and cultures of the Mediterranean, from Classical Athens to Contemporary Nice , Ancient Egypt to Baroque Rome, Casablanca to Constantinople

2. Art Treasures of Lisbon.
A look at the special qualities of Portuguese Art throughout history, and at the Treasures to be seen by the modern visitor, including that most sensational of works; ‘The Temptation of St. Anthony’, by Hieronymous Bosch.

3. Art, Architecture and Culture of Barcelona
Exploring the great Collections and Museums(Miro, Picasso, Gothic and Romanesque) as well as the Architecture of Gaudi and Modernismo(Spanish Art Nouveau), in this most energetic and exhilarating of cities

4. Blood and Fire.
A trip around the passionate, mystical and visionary world of Spanish Art, from Cave Paintings to the present day.

5. Revolution. A turbulent history of French Art, from Cave Painting to the Swinging Sixties. Illumination, Gothic, Rococo, Impressionism, Art Nouveau, Fauvism, Cubism, School of Paris, International Art Deco, Existentialism—a rich, majestic and very seductive tapestry.

6. The Blaze of Glory.
How the vivid light, life and colour of North Africa inspired artists from Eugene Delacroix to Henri Matisse , Ingres to Renoir, Paul Klee to David Hockney, and transformed European Art.

7. Art of the Canaries
Discover the wealth of Art and Artists to be found in these ‘Fortunate Isles’. Features the unique genius of Cesar Manrique , the Symbolist fantasies of Nestor de la Torre, the Surrealism of Oscar Dominguez, festivals, carnival and architecture old and new.

8. Picasso-Fiend or Angel.
Arguably the greatest Spanish artist of all time, Pablo Picasso could ‘ draw like Raphael at the age of 12’. Discover the kaleidoscope of styles he invented to become the most important (and most controversial) artist of the 20th Century. And then make up your own mind.

9. A short and elegant history of Italian art; (or, at least, of those cultures which since 1861 we have come to know as modern Italy.) Includes the Etruscans, the Romans, Early Christian art, Italian Gothic, the Renaissance in the great City States of Florence, Venice, Pisa etc…, the Baroque in Rome and Naples, art of the Risorgimento, Italian Symbolism and Art Nouveau, the Futurists, Arte Povera, Transavangardia et al…

10. Venice-the Serene Republic.
One of the Great Cities of the world, La Serenissima is awash with history, romance, nostalgia, and ravishing Art and Architecture. This lecture celebrates the frescoes, mosaics, altarpieces and signature Gothic, Renaissance and Byzantine styles in what was once the very centre of Mediterranean life and trade.

11. The High Renaissance and Baroque in Rome.
A visit to the ‘Eternal City’ to celebrate the Great Masters of the High Renaissance(Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo), as well as the countless Miracles of the flamboyant Baroque, in the work of Bernini, Pietro da Cortona, Borromini, Carracci, and many more. The Glory that IS Rome.

12. Classical Art–a Style for all Seasons.
A tour of the many wonders of the Classical World, and how the genius of Ancient Greece inspired Rome, its Empire, and successive western civilizations ever since. From Parthenon to Capitol, Pantheon to Euston Station, the Venus de Milo to ‘Gladiator’ this lecture looks at the most versatile, durable and democratic style ever invented .

13. Art Treasures of Sicily-a place in the sun. A tour of the extraordinary wealth of art and architecture to be found on this most evocative of islands. We take in 2500 years of Greek, Roman, Moorish, Norman, French, Italian, and native Sicilian civilization.

General lectures

1. Art of the Jazz Age.
Looking at Art Deco treasures from the Golden Age of Cruising, including Furniture and Ceramics, Jewellery and Fashion, Ice-glass and Metalwork, Painting and Sculpture, Architecture , Illustration , Liners, Trains, Planes and Automobiles, and the personalities from Josephine Baker through Nancy Cunard to Coco Chanel.

2. The Whiplash Line; a tour of the great flowering of European Fine and Decorative Arts which is Art Nouveau, taking in glass and textiles, ceramics and furniture, posters prints and the graphic arts, painting sculpture and architecture. Featured artists include; Tiffany, Mackintosh, Beardsley, Mucha, Gaudi, Lalique, Klimt and Burne-Jones.

3. Everything you always wanted to know about Modern Art (but hardly dared ask); exploring the Frequently Asked Questions (whatever happened to Drawing, why does it have to be so rude and foulmouthed, why is a pickled shark worth £100,000 ? etc.,etc., etc…..)

4. The Cat’s Pyjamas. Since the Ancient Egyptians, cats have been a source of inspiration to artists. This informal chat, profusely illustrated with colour slides, looks at Cat Sculptures, Cat Paintings, Cat Cartoons; in fact the huge and fascinating range of artworks depicting the many faces of our Feline Friends since they first crept in from the dark to the fireside.
From Bast to Felix, Krazy Kat to Itchy and Scratchy, Rousseau’s Tigers to Martin Leman’s Feline Familiars, we will discover a whole new (furry) face of history.

5. Gustav Klimt and the Vienna Secession. Looking at the sumptuous and seductive work of this most sensuous of artists in this 150th anniversary year of his birth.
I have been lecturing on cruise ships, on many aspects of the History of Art and Architecture, for some 25 years.
I have undertaken many bookings for Fred Olsen, Viking, P&O, Saga, and Voyages of Discovery. I offer lecture programmes for the Baltic, Scandinavia generally including Iceland, Northern Europe, Russia, the Mediterranean including Greece, Italy, Sicily, Spain and Portugal, France, North Africa, the Canaries, Azores and Madeira, and round Britain.
I have extensive knowledge of Museums, Galleries and Collections in most of these places, so am able to be useful for passengers wanting advice on visits to such places, or on existing tour itineraries.

Fred Olsen Boudicca - D1909 - Scenic Fjords of Norway. 9 nights. Dover 16 April 2019
Fred Olsen Black Watch - W1819 - Spain, Portugal and the Azores. 14 nights. Liverpool. 1st September 2018
Fred Olsen Braemar - M1714 - Rivers of Spain and France. 14 nights. Southampton. 10 June 2017
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
Viking Sky SK191120 Cities of Antiquity & the Holy Land 14 Piraeus (Athens) Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Viking Sky SK191106 Cities of Antiquity & the Holy Land 14 Civitavecchia (for Rome) Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Viking Sky SK190527 Iceland's Majestic Landscapes 12 Bergen Monday, May 27, 2019
Viking Star ST190404 Empires of the Mediterranean 9 Piraeus (Athens) Thursday, April 4, 2019
Viking Star ST190326 Empires of the Mediterranean 9 Venice Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Viking Sky SK180804 British Isles Explorer 14 Greenwich, London Saturday, August 4, 2018
Viking Sky SK170715 Viking Homelands 14 Bergen Saturday, July 15, 2017
Braemar M1714 Rivers of Spain & France 14 Southampton Saturday, June 10, 2017
Viking Sky SK170403 Mediterranean Odyssey 12 Venice Monday, April 3, 2017
Viking Star ST160821 Viking Homelands 14 Bergen Sunday, August 21, 2016
Braemar M1618 Rivers of Spain & France 14 Southampton Saturday, July 16, 2016
Viking Sea SE160403 Empires of the Mediterranean 9 Istanbul Sunday, April 3, 2016
Viking Star ST150711 Viking Homelands 14 Bergen Saturday, July 11, 2015