The Art of Trickery: How Magicians Are Seen in Paintings, Prints & Cartoons

Tuesday 2 July 2024 at 2.00 pm at the Lowther Pavilion.  Guests may attend the lecture – £10 pp (pay on door)

Please note that due to the Lytham Festival the Lowther is unable to accommodate us on our original date of the 3 July – the lecture will now be held on Tuesday 2 July at 2.00 pm.

Lecturer: Ian Keable

This is Ian’s first lecture to The Arts Society Fylde. He gained a First Class degree from Oxford University, qualified as a Chartered Accountant and then became a professional magician. He is a Member of The Inner Magic Circle. In 2014 he published Charles Dickens Magician: Conjuring in Life, Letters & Literature. He now divides his time between performing magic, giving talks and researching and writing. His latest book, The Century of Deception: The Birth of the Hoax in Eighteenth-Century England, was published in 2021.




The Lecture

This talk is on how magicians have appeared in art throughout the centuries, whether in paintings, satirical prints or cartoons. Early artists used the magician to symbolise the mysterious and the unknown, associating them with astrology and tarot cards. In the 16th century, Pieter Bruegel and Hieronymus Bosch produced two of the most famous and striking pictures of the conjurer performing the Cups and Balls trick. The 18th and 19th century saw a proliferation in engravings and lithographs showing the magician both indoors and on the streets. Cartoonists and satirists delighted in linking politicians with skulduggery with images of them featuring the Three-Card Trick, Vanishing illusions or pulling a Rabbit out of the Hat.


Caption: Hieronymus Bosch: The Conjurer, (Public Domain).