Real Drawings: Tablets of Clay and Afterwards

This illustrated talk, at once grave and light-hearted, will investigate the remarkable drawings that are sometimes to be found on clay tablets inscribed in cuneiform script from ancient Mesopotamia. These ‘old masters’ are between two and three thousand years old and exemplify a level of authoritative draughtsmanship that no one would expect, demanding status within the broader history of drawing. Once the audience has been duly stunned and awestruck the lecture will conclude with a discussion-provoking diatribe about how to illustrate children’s books and why there are so few really good exponents of that marvellous, wonderful and important art.

Irving Finkel was born in 1951 and has been a cuneiform tablet curator in the British Museum in London since 1979. As well as writing academically, he also publishes fiction including The Ark before Noah, The Last Resort Library, Miss Barbellion’s Garden and The Princess who Wouldn’t Come Home.