Candidate Profile

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Architecture & its History
Destinations & Ports
History - Art & Culture
History - Maritime
History - Naval
Shore Excursion Escorts
Vikings & Scandinavia
After officer service in the Royal Navy and a long career in business, Justin Reay studied the History of Art and Architecture at Oxford, gaining the University’s Diploma with Distinction, and researched for his doctoral thesis on medieval naval weapons systems at the University of Exeter. A Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and of the Royal Historical Society, Justin is a member of the Catalogue Raisonné Scholars Association, New York.
Justin is an Accredited Lecturer for the Arts Society, an advisor to the BBC and history foundations and museums in Europe, Australia and the USA, and a consultant in marine art. Formerly a senior academic manager of the Bodleian Library, and a qualified teacher, Justin is a tutor in the History of Art, Classical Civilizations, Academic Writing and Critical Thinking.
His edition of Samuel Pepys’ naval papers in the Bodleian’s collections offers new insights into Pepys’s working methods and political power, and presents several previously unpublished documents. His architectural study of the Admiralty in London describes the iconic buildings of the Royal Navy’s former headquarters, populated by many key figures from Britain’s history. Justin’s current research into naval and maritime art in the National Trust will produce a catalogue raisonné of key artworks in a major national collection.
Justin is a frequent History of Art enrichment speaker for Viking Ocean Cruises and gives sail-away presentations at several ports in the Baltic, Atlantic and Mediterranean. He has also sailed with Saga (2017), and Fred Olsen (2019 and 2012).
He is booked as Art History speaker for three cruises for Viking Ocean in 2020 (Mediterranean, Baltic and Arctic Circle) and four in 2021 (Mediterranean, Baltic, Atlantic and Aegean).

(Click images for full size)

Selected Publications:
- Inside Samuel Pepys’s Office: naval documents from the Pepys Papers in the Bodleian Library, Bodleian Library Publications and Society for Nautical Research (forthcoming Spring 2020)
- The Great Ship Ashore : buildings and people of the Admiralty in London, Toothed Dolphin Press, Oxford (forthcoming Autumn 2019)
- “Friend Gayner” and Lord Nelson on the Mediterranean Station, Trafalgar Chronicle (2019)
- Jack Punch: Captain John Perkins, the Royal Navy’s most successful officer, Trafalgar Chronicle (2017)
- ‘The Fighting Cochranes: a naval dynasty like no other’, Trafalgar Chronicle (2015)
- Nelson's Nemesis: Captain Etienne Lucas, the Redoutable and its fight with the Victory, Trafalgar Chronicle (2014)
- ‘Samuel Pepys's naval papers in the Bodleian’, Bodleian Library Record (2010)
- ‘A Place of Considerable Importance : Lord Cochrane at the Siege of Rosas 1808’, The Mariner’s Mirror, vol 95:4, Society for Nautical Research, November 2009; online in the Oxford University Research Archive at:
- ‘In Search of Nelson’s Spy : a research case study’, Trafalgar Chronicle, October 2009; online in the Oxford University Research Archive at:
- ‘Edward Gayner, the Royal Navy’s Man at Rosas : parts I to III’, Nelson Dispatch 2008-2009
- ‘The Royal Navy in the Bay of Rosas 1808-09’, in Díaz Capmany C, Pedler R, and Reay J, El Setge de Roses de 1808: tres visions de la Guerra del Francès, Girona 2008
- ‘Resolve and Endeavour in the Golden Ocean : Cook’s management of his voyages in the Pacific’, BNRA Journal 2008
In preparation:
- Fortune of the Sea: naval and maritime artworks in the National Trust collections (2 vols, due 2021)
Architecture & its History:
1. Admirals, Arias and 'a Few Small Rooms': the Admiralty buildings in London
2. Wren’s Masterpiece: the old Royal Naval Hospital, Greenwich
3. The Venice of the North: the founding and architecture of St Petersburg
4. Nordic Light: Scandinavian and Finnish architecture and design
5. The English Country House from Vanbrugh to Adam
6. Party Palace: Vaux le Vicomte, the inspiration for Versailles
7. Water, Light and Shade: Islamic buildings and gardens in Andalusia
8. Building on water: the wealth and architecture of Venice
9. Building the Eternal City: the architecture of classical Rome and in the Renaissance and Baroque
10. Calatrava’s Bridge: the amazing contemporary architecture of the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia

Art & Culture History:
1. 'Setting their Hearts on Painting': women artists of the Italian Renaissance and Baroque
2. Bonfire of the Vanities: the art and turbulent life of Renaissance Florence
3. From the streets of Seville to the court in Madrid: the art of Diego Velàzquez
4. Taking the Blue Train: Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso discover the unique light of the South of France
5. The Bull of the People: Pablo Picasso, art and life
6. Picasso: life and love in art: Picasso's muses and their lives with the master
7. El Sordo: Francisco Goya, art and life
8. Food for the Eyes: still-life paintings by Spanish and Dutch masters
9. 'Rembrandt’s Eyes': life and art in the Dutch Golden Age
10. Vermeer’s Camera: buildings and people by Johannes Vermeer
11. The Happiness of Life: the colourful art of Henri Matisse
12. Southern sun in the north: Spanish paintings at the Hermitage
13. Conversation pieces: stories behind portraits from the English masters
14. 'He has fired a gun': marine paintings by J M W Turner
15. Faces of the Steelyard: the life of the Hanseatic merchants and their portraits by Holbein
16. 'A painted ocean': the sea, ships and life on board in marine art [focusing on the relevant sectors of the Western or Eastern Mediterranean, the Adriatic, Aegean, North Atlantic and Baltic]
17. 'All a-sparkle with gunflashes': naval actions and heroes in marine art
18. Motion and Emotion: sculpting the human figure in classical Greece
19. Gods, Warriors and Wine: Greek vase painting in the Classical period
20. Eighteenth Century Cruising: collectors and artists of the Grand Tour

Maritime History:
1. The First European Union? The Hanseatic League and world trade
2. Silk Road of the Sea: the maritime trade routes from China to Europe
3. 'With courage, nothing is impossible': the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and its work

Naval History:
1. Nelson’s Nemesis: Captain Etienne Lucas, the Redoutable and her fight against the Victory
2. Jupiter and Mars: competition at sea between England and France
3. Titans at war: Thomas Cochrane and Etienne Lucas at the Battle of Aix Roads 1808
4. Nelson’s Spy in the Mediterranean: Edward Gayner, wine merchant, Quaker and spy
5. In the Footsteps of the Hero: Nelson at the Admiralty
6. Jack Punch at War: the extraordinary life of Captain John Perkins, Britain’s first black officer
7. 'By the Rocket’s Red Glare': the Siege of Baltimore 1814
8. 'Something's wrong with our battleships today': the battle of Jutland 1916
9. The Mystery V.C.: Gus Agar and the Kronstadt raids 1919
10. A Man of Appetites: Samuel Pepys, diarist and naval official
11. The Saviour of the Navy? Dr John Harness and the Scurvy Debate
12. Experiments and Observations : the Admiralty, the Royal Society and the discovery of new worlds
13. 'Thrast up agaynst the rayls' : the Death of Lord Admiral Edward Howard at Conquet, 1513
14. 'To render an effectual service…' Collingwood’s Star Captains on the Coast of Catalonia
15. 'That Plain, Rough, English Admiral…': Sir Cloudesley Shovell and the loss of the Resolution, 1707
Viking Sky (Viking Ocean): Mediterranean Odyssey - Barcelona to Venice (northern route), October 2019: four talks on History of Art and marine art.
Viking Sea (Viking Ocean): Viking Homelands - Stockholm to Bergen, July 2019: four talks on History of Art (including link to Hanseatic League) and three sail-away scenic commentaries (Stockholm Archipelago, St Petersburg and Copenhagen).
Viking Sky (Viking Ocean) Iconic Cities of the Western Mediterranean - Rome to Barcelona (southern route), January 2019: four talks on art history
Viking Sky (Viking Ocean) Trade Routes of the Middle Ages - Barcelona to Bergen, April 2018: five talks on art history and two sail-away scenic commentaries (Barcelona and Portsmouth)
Viking Sky (Viking Ocean): Viking Homelands - Stockholm to Bergen, May 2017: three talks on History of Art (including link to Hanseatic League) and two sail-away scenic commentaries (St Petersburg and Copenhagen).
Saga Pearl II (Saga): Dover to the Baltic and return, August 2017: five talks on History of Art
Balmoral (Fred Olsen): Norwegian Fjords, August 2019: four talks on art history and marine art
Black Watch (Fred Olsen): Christmas Markets - Southampton to the Baltic and return, November-December 2012: six talks on naval history and art history
Justin frequently researches and lectures on all of the following sub-categories:
- Hanseatic League
- Silk Roads - Overland and Maritime
- Art Galleries and Museums
- Art History
- Art Markets and Art Auctions for investors
- Paintings, drawings and prints
- Art Photographs
- Sculpture
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
Viking Sky SK191006 Mediterranean Odyssey 12 Barcelona Sunday, October 6, 2019
Viking Sea SE190704 Viking Homelands 14 Stockholm Thursday, July 4, 2019
Viking Sky SK181230 Southern Mediterranean Discovery 7 Civitavecchia (for Rome) Sunday, December 30, 2018
Viking Sky SK180414 Trade Routes of the Middle Ages 14 Barcelona Saturday, April 14, 2018
Saga Pearl 11 P2181 White Nights of the Baltic 16 Dover Friday, August 4, 2017
Viking Sky SK170506 Viking Homelands 14 Stockholm Saturday, May 6, 2017