The Kenneth Clark Prize 2019

1st March 2019
BY Carson White (pupil)

The Kenneth Clark Prize is the school’s annual art history competition. It is named after the scholar, museum director and broadcaster Kenneth Clark (1903-1983), a former pupil best known for his television series Civilisation.

This was the fifteenth year of the prize, which involves every pupil in the top two years at Winchester. Twenty boys competed in semi-finals last month, with six taking a place in the final on Friday. The guest adjudicator for the evening was Professor Stephen Bann, a former Collegeman and one of the country’s most distinguished art historians.

After a brief introduction by Dr Foster, Winchester’s head of Art History, the lights dimmed and our first competitor Alfred Deahl (Bramston’s), stepped up to the podium. He spoke about The Severan Tondo, a panel painting depicting the Roman imperial family c. AD 200. Tomas Sergeant (Moberly’s) discussed two 8th century cave paintings which could be found near Dunhuang, a temple complex on the Silk Road in China. Takenori Maruyama (DuBoulay’s) was the only fourth year to make it into the finals and he presented on Byodoin Temple in Japan. Built between 998 and 1053, it is a remarkable feat of engineering, beauty and endurance. It was commissioned by a noble famlily to house a large statue of a golden Buddha.

After a brief interval, Inigo Selwood (College) gave his presentation on The Death of Marat (1907) by Edvard Munch, better known for The Scream. William Billington (Moberly’s) spoke on Diego Rivera’s The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City (1931). This is a large painting, made using a fresco technique learnt by Rivera during his travels to Italy. Finally, Teddy Wilmot-Sitwell (Moberly’s) gave us his interpretation of MC Escher’s lithograph print Up and Down (1947). He explained the complex perspectival construction of the print, and the relationship of Escher to Surrealism.

Professor Bann commended the contestants on the high standard of their presentations. All three prizes were awarded to residents of Moberly’s:

  • Gold: Teddy Wilmot-Sitwell
  • Silver: William Billington
  • Bronze: Tomas Sergeant

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