British art historian speaks at ADFAS Coffs Harbour

Leslie Primo will present ‘Foreigners in London 1520-1677: the artists that changed the course of British art’ at ADFAS’ May event.

BRITISH art historian and BBC arts presenter Leslie Primo is coming to Coffs Harbour on Monday 22 May as part of his current speaking tour of Australia.

As guest presenter of ADFAS Coffs Coast (Australian Decorative Fine Arts Society), Leslie’s topic is ‘Foreigners in London 1520 – 1677: the artists that changed the course of British art’.

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The intriguing and obscure topic raises many questions.

Why were foreigner painters preferred by the aristocracy in London to native-born English painters?

Why did foreigners come in the first place, what was their motivation?

What was the impact of foreigners in London on English art and art practice?

How were they greeted by the native born artist and what did they bring to artistic practice in London?

ADFAS is a national network of art lovers, with a branch in Coffs Harbour formed in January 2023 which meets at the Cartoon Gallery once a month.

Through ADFAS audiences gain an opportunity to connect with a wide variety of arts, design and conservation related lectures and activities at local, regional and international levels.

“The consistently large turnouts to our talks show that people in Coffs appreciate the opportunity to get out of the house and immerse themselves in an evening of hearing from people with wide ranging expertise in the visual arts, literature and cultural histories,” Cath Fogarty, on behalf of ADFAS Coffs Coast, told News Of The Area.

“The social aspect is also part of the attraction.

“It’s lovely to engage with new perspectives and histories and be able to talk about it afterwards over a glass of wine and some nibbles.”

Leslie Primo is an independent art historian specialising in early to late medieval and Renaissance studies.

He previously worked at The National Gallery, London, for eighteen years, and now lectures for the Arts Society, and teaches a variety of art history courses in London at Imperial College, City Lit, and Bishopsgate Institute.

For more information you can visit the ADFAS Coffs Coast website at


British art historian Leslie Primo is coming to Coffs Harbour through ADFAS.

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