Portraits of some of history’s most famous mistresses and courtesans will come under the spotlight as part of the Mayfair & St James’s Literary Festival.



Lecturer Linda Smith will also be looking at the careers of these notorious women in a lighthearted discussion of the changing attitudes to sexual morality through the ages.

London Art Studies is presenting Great Tarts in Art: High Culture and the World’s Oldest Profession on Thursday October 31st from 11am to 12.15pm at Matches, 5 Carlos Place, in Mayfair.

The talk will begin in 17th century Britain, with a look at some of King Charles II’s best known mistresses.

It will then move onto the 18th century and the era of Hogarth.


Works by Manet, Degas and Renoir will be featured. Then there will be an exploration of the radical new artistic techniques used by Picasso and Sickert.

The programme will end with a brief look at how today’s artists address this age-old topic.

Linda Smith is an art historian with a particular knowledge of British art and the art of the 20th century. She has an MA from Birkbeck, specialising in Postmodernism.

Linda is an accredited Arts Society lecturer and an experienced lecturer/gallery guide at both Tate Britain and Tate Modern, where she has worked for the past 17 years.


London Art Studies was founded by Kate Gordon. It offers a series of informal lectures on various art topics, ranging from classical to contemporary art, usually over breakfast, brunch, lunch or cocktails.

Dangerous Women is the latest video series by London Art Studies. Women featured include Kitty Fisher, Paula Rego, Gwen John and Cindy Sherman.


High Culture And The World’s Oldest Profession, Thursday October 31, 11am-12.15pm, Matches, 5 Carlos Place.